Approximately one in six men in the United States have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before age 18 (1in6.org). As we know all too well, Centre County is no exception. With the recent media attention on movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, sexual assault is again in the spotlight. The stories shared by thousands of women in their own voices have been powerful. Alongside those women, men have also begun to share their stories. Often, men who had unwanted sexual experiences are overlooked or not believed, which increases the stigma and shame that they face.
Beginning in February 2018, a series of important events will take place across Centre County to combat this harmful stigma. At several public venues, The Centre County Women’s Resource Center (CCWRC) will be displaying art from “The Bristlecone Project,” which collects stories of men on the road to recovery from sexual abuse (www.bristleconeproject.org). The CCWRC will also hold four information sessions to help spread awareness about childhood sexual abuse of men and inform the community of the services available for men seeking help with recovery. The information sessions will include a screening of the 30-minute documentary about “The Bristlecone Project,” an explanation of available local services for men, and a panel discussion.
Information Session Dates and Locations:
● State College: February 1st, 6:00 p.m. at Schlow Centre Region Library
● Millheim: February 3rd, 1:00 p.m. at the Green Drake Gallery and Arts Center
● Bellefonte: February 15th, 6:00 p.m. at the Centre County Library
● Philipsburg: Feburary 17th, 11:30 a.m. at the Holt Memorial Library
These events are open to all members of our community, whether or not their lives have been directly affected by childhood sexual abuse. Each one of us has a role to play in making our community a safer place for all. For more information about the Centre County Women’s Resource Center’s displays or information sessions, contact Jordan Gibby at 814-238-7066, ext. 245.