male support group for sexual assualt

article in the Gainesville Sun
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I am elated that the Advisory Council that I am a member of-The Alachua County Rape and Sexual Assault Advisory Council has forwarded the conclusion of a sub-committee that discussed the need for a support group for men who have experienced sexual assault.
From these conclusions-I understand that yesterday the very first group of five men began.
I was told the men promised to return-that they felt they had bonded in this initial meeting.
You could have offered me anything yesterday…it wouldn’t have come close to how great this was for me to hear.

There is no way that I can express how difficult it is to come from being a victim and learning to become a survivor.
I hope that this is a beginning of healing for these five men-and also the birth of a future of others to come ahead and learn to heal…and learn you are not alone.

If you are interested and need help-you can contact Alachua County (Florida) Victims Services and Rape Crisis Center.
352.264.6760 or toll free 866.252.5439

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8 Responses to “male support group for sexual assualt”

  1. Carol Says:

    What about you? Are you going to attend these sessions?

  2. jayherron Says:

    I was asked to…but I declined because I have had therapy at the VA and that ended.
    I actually live too far to try to go in every week…which is a feeble excuse.
    The reality is-I thought since the groups were more for those who have not yet had any attention or therapy,and because of my part in beginning them-I opted out.
    I’m glad you asked!

  3. Dale Says:

    Actually, I’d encourage you to go, even if it’s just every other week or so. Since you’ve had some therapy, you might be of some help to those other men. They might also be of some help to you. It’s not just what they get from you, but what you might get from them as well with sharing and all. It seems odd you’d have a part in beginning the group, then opt out. It’s kind of like abandoning a puppy once you’ve agreed to adopt him.

  4. jayherron Says:

    I agree with you Dale,some-I had discussed this with one of the victim advocates that I was on the sub-commitee with (that brought the facts to the advisory council) and wanted to see it get off the ground first,the first group-solo like…as Carol (who patiently remarks on my blog at times ) can attest…I have a very hard personality to put up with.
    Trust me-my having had therapy has not helped me deal with others well-and I’m certainly not healed from my wounds…I felt the first group should off its beginning with out me.
    Believe me-it is not as you say ‘abandoning the puppy’…it is that I think it would be best to not begin with this group-the advocate in the room and the support group idea and hope is all new (in this area) and I am very pleased they have found five men to fill the seats (I understand they are limiting the groups to fives) and am excited to stand in ‘the wings’ and learn how this is growing and hope for its success.
    I think it would be good for it to grow together as it is-with all of the men and the advocate being new-first time,and for them build this together.
    I am not an old salt at understanding anything much-so I’m not the vocal advisor it may seem I could be.
    I am so glad for your comment-it means you have found this place.

  5. Carol Says:

    Jay – If you do not take advantage of this opportunity, I’m afraid some of your readers are going to be less than sympathetic about your suffering. The men who are going to make up the group probably have every cause for hesitation that you do and may even be looking forward to the first session with dread, but they’re going nonetheless. Distance should not be a factor and maybe, just maybe, someone there may say something that will be of help to you.

  6. Charlotte Says:

    Congratulations, Jay, on seeing that this group was created. I know that without your perserverence and passion for the rights of male sexual assault victims, this would have been years in coming to Alachua County, if ever. You always said that it was easier to help others than yourself. I can understand that you seem to be standing back, proudly, as you have given this gift of hope to five other men. I agree with the other commenters, though, that I hope one day you will partake in the offering.
    proud of you and your work, Jay

  7. jayherron Says:

    I have not discarded the idea of being involved in the group…I just declined being in the initial group-and will reconsider a future group.
    Part of my hesitation is the person leading the group has become a friend on the outside of the Advisory Council and I feel somewhat that my friendship with the therapist will intertwine with the way I react and my reaction may deter the others.
    I was once in a group of men at the VA-it did not work well becausre it was very disorganized…and I would like to see this develope with out my being involved in the initial group.
    I hope to see these groups grow and be successful…but first they need to grow-build themselves.
    This is quite important to me-and it will be a success….but at this point I am not going to be involved.
    It is sort of a conflict for me to attend with the therapist being my friend…when they evolve to a point there are other therapists-yes,I will attend.

  8. BrittnyK Says:

    Hey guys…I am a student at the University of Florida, and I am working on a school project for my radio class about victims of male rape in Alachua County. The story is about how there are a lot of different prevention groups, and different things for women to attend but there are not many things a male can attend here in alachua county in regards to defense classes and things such as that..or at least that I could find information on. I have already spoke with someone who helps run the support group, and I would really like to talk to a male victim of rape, to simply ask him things like: “what could have been offered to males to help prevent rape?” You do not even have to give me your name, and like I said it is for a school project, but I would just really like to give male victims the chance to voice their opinions on how the media tends to be very one sided, and only reporting on female rape victims, leaving out the fact that there are male victims of rape and sexual assault. So if anyone would be willing to talk with me on the phone, simply for a few minutes, and again you don’t need to go into anything you don’t want to and also you do not need to give me your name if you do not wish..i would really appreciate it. You can email me at we can set up a time to chat on the phone then..thank you..brittny.

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