1in6, Inc. and Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation Announce Partnership to Kick Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sharing Resources for Men is the Focus of the Partnership
April 2, 2012, New York — In recognition of April serving as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, 1in6, Inc.—a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help men who experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood live healthier, happier lives—proudly announces their recent partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Emmy Award-winning actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with the mission to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. In partnership with 1in6, Joyful Heart began providing resources that are specific to men to help them with the unique emotional challenges that can result from a childhood of unwanted or abusive sexual contact.
“Our partnership with 1in6 is critical in our work to engage men in the issues of sexual and family violence. Not only are we now able to provide a lifeline for the 19 million men in this country who are affected by these issues, but we are strengthening the message that men play a vital role in the movement to address, prevent and, one day, end violence against all people,” said Maile M. Zambuto, Chief Executive Officer of Joyful Heart.
The partnership kicked off with 1in6 consulting on the Law & Order: SVU episode, “Personal Fouls,” which told the story of an abusive youth basketball coach who made sexual advances towards his young athletes and kept them silent about the contact. To generate additional awareness on the importance of these issues, Joyful Heart produced a public service announcement with NBC and the Law & Order: SVU cast, which can be seen at men.joyfulheartfoundation.org. NBC re-aired the episode in January following the Penn State University sexual abuse allegations, and was preceded by a special message from Mariska Hargitay, highlighting the very unique challenges that men in this situation are forced to manage.
“Although many scientific studies have demonstrated the enormity of this problem, very few resources are available specifically for men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse,” said Dr. David Lisak, Founding Board Member of 1in6. “Common effects include addiction, depression, anxiety and relationship problems, so this is a huge problem for millions of men and our whole society. However, it’s received little attention due to the fact that it’s historically been a taboo subject and men have been reluctant to seek information and help.”
In addition to the episode collaboration, 1in6 has begun providing a weekly entry on Joyful Heart’s blog titled “1in6 Thursdays.” These weekly entries are intended to engage men and the people who support them by highlighting the very complicated issues specifically related to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. For professionals and organizations wishing to share materials on this subject, the two organizations have worked together to produce co-branded brochures and other educational materials at no cost. These materials can be ordered on the 1in6.org website.
1in6 offers a wealth of information and resources on its website, including an online help-line and lending library. It is the most comprehensive online resource in the world on the sexual abuse of males. But most importantly, 1in6.org offers information and services to men at different stages of seeking information and help, including those who are not yet ready to “break the silence” by calling a hotline, seeking a therapist, or even participating anonymously in a supportive online community. Joyful Heart recently launched its Engaging Men initiative noting that men play a crucial part of the movement to address, prevent and—one day—end sexual violence, domestic violence and child abuse. For more information, please visit http://www.1in6.org and men.joyfulheartfoundation.org.