The John Carroll University Department of Counseling and the Beta Chi honor society hosted an Evening of Hope with MenHealing on November 18, 2019, in Dolan Hall. The program started with a screening of the documentary Boys & Men Healing from Big Voice Pictures, which portrays the stories of three male survivors of sexual abuse and how their healing helped reclaim their lives. After the film, a panel of five male survivors shared their stories of hope and healing and answered questions from the audience.
The panel members, volunteers who had participated in MenHealing’s “Weekends of Recovery” retreats for male survivors, came from around Ohio, Michigan, and Utah for the event. The evening was facilitated by Dr. Howard Fradkin, a clinical psychologist and nationally recognized expert from Columbus, Ohio, who has worked with over 1200 survivors. Staff and volunteers from the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, and the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center were also on hand to answer questions about services and supports available in the area.
The Evening of Hope held the audience of 120 from the John Carroll University and Greater Cleveland community rapt for two and a half hours. The panel members found the event to be incredibly empowering and were deeply moved and heartened to see so much interested in the topic. They also emphasized the importance of providing helpful information to survivors and asked our help in sharing recommended resources to those who may need them (see below). Our biggest hope is that this event has a ripple effect beyond the discussion and toward advocating for male survivors.
Recovery is the process of learning to be disloyal to the dysfunctions of our pasts as we learn to be loyal to functionality. Our job in the helping profession is to help survivors learn the difference between disfunction and function and to remember that, once they know the difference, they can, in fact, be loyal to functionality.
Dr. Howard Fradkin
*Resources provided by the panel:
- MenHealing and Weekends of Recovery: menhealing.org
- MaleSurvivor resources for survivors: malesurvivor.org
- Cleveland Rape Crisis Center: clevelandrapecrisis.org
- Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence: www.oaesv.org
- Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center: www.ocvjc.org
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: www.samhsa.gov/find-treatment
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, suicidepreventionlifeline.org
- Narcotics Anonymous: na.org
- Alcoholics Anonymous: aa.org
- Sex Addicts Anonymous: saa-recovery.org
- “Boys and Men Healing” from Big Voice Pictures: bigvoicepictures.com/production-3/boys-and-men-healing
(Reported by Michael Miller, pictures by Nhat Nguyen)