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Sexual assault centre bridging gaps for male survivors

Amelia Rising Assault Centre of Nipissing News Release ********************* “Like fireweed, we desire to transform the landscape of our lives, healing wounds of sexual violence.

Amelia Rising Assault Centre of Nipissing
News Release


“Like fireweed, we desire to transform the landscape of our lives, healing wounds of sexual violence.” Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing’s new Ministry of the Attorney General funded FIREWEED Project has adopted this slogan and the distinct purple wildflower as its inspiration. Fireweed is the first flower to grow and flourish following the devastation of fire. It is the hope of Amelia Rising that the FIREWEED Project will bridge the significant service gaps for male survivors of sexual abuse so that they can rise above their personal devastation of abuse and begin to heal and flourish.

Through training initiatives, FIREWEED aims to increase the number of trained professionals in the much needed area of male childhood sexual abuse, at little to no cost for the professional or agency, in order to increase services to male survivors. The training will begin in the Nipissing District; however the main focus will be rural and remote communities in the north, including underserviced Francophone and Aboriginal communities such as the First Nations along the James Bay coast.

“The victims to be assisted, in the first instance, are male survivors of sexual abuse. However, we know from our experience working with female survivors, as well as supporters of survivors, that spouses, partners, extended families, friends, workplace colleagues and whole communities can also benefit from the promotion of healing and support for those who have been hurt and betrayed as children,” states the Centre’s Executive Director, Nikoline Calcaterra.

Amelia Rising has become increasingly aware that male children have been victimized by incest and childhood sexual abuse, and that there are few resources or support services available to these now adult male survivors. The Centre’s decision to undertake this project is based on its awareness of male survivors in crisis or in need of support, particularly amongst vulnerable and marginalized populations who call Amelia Rising’s 24-hour crisis line.

By increasing the number of individuals within the service sector who are trained in working with male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, it will increase awareness of the issue, and ultimately, increase the capacity of communities to sustain resources in this area. “Our hope is that through the collective support of communities and service providers within Ontario, men who have been silent about their childhood sexual trauma, will feel supported in coming forward and give voice to their experience of abuse to begin their healing”, adds FIREWEED Project Coordinator, Jill Passmore.