What's New? Update – July 4, 2006


Go to list of other old updatesFirst, I’m happy to announce that Thom Harrigan’s cardiac surgery, performed on May 15th, was successful. Thom is healing well, gaining energy each day, and plans to return to work, gradually, later this month. He asked me to convey his appreciation for all the messages of support, encouragement, and caring.


Things continue to move and change. Here are some of the changes:

United Kingdom: I leave for England on July 13th. I’m looking forward to the third annual Healing the Healers Retreat (July 17th-20th) and Victims No Longer Men’s Recovery Weekend (July 21st-23rd) to be held at Urchfont Manor in Wiltshire. We currently have participants coming from many parts of England, as well as Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Norway, France, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, United States, New Zealand, Cambodia, and possibly Bangladesh. I appreciate the work that Steve Bevan of Survivors Swindon has done to make this project a reality. Thanks, too, to Alastair Hilton of Cambodia and Leicester, Fay Maxted of Rugby, and Georgina Winkley of Aberystwyth, Wales for planning and leading the day that will focus on activism.


Following the workshops, I will be traveling north to Scarborough, Yorkshire. I feel honored (honoured for British readers) to have been asked to officially open the HOPE Survivors new centre in Scarborough (Monday July 24th at 2:30 PM). Pauline Carruthers has worked tirelessly to create a safe and healing place for survivors. Also attending this event will be Ken Clearwater of New Zealand, director of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, Bob and Chris Balfour of Survivors West Yorkshire, and Tony Lawson of Yorkshire Survivors. I’m sure there will be others there to provide well-deserved support and appreciation of Pauline. You are welcome to join us. For information, contact hopesurvivors@aol.com

After Scarborough, I’m looking forward to visiting Colchester, Essex, and spending some time with the wonderful women of Colchester Rape Crisis Line (CRCL). After trying to get there (without success) for the past two summers, I hope to make it this time. The women of Colchester are amazing, and have a history of doing important work for women and children, and being solid friends to male survivors. For more information, visit their Web site: http://www.crcl.org.uk/


United States: Plans for the men’s weekend workshops in Pennylvania (August 18th-20th) and Los Angeles (October 6th-8th) continue to develop. You can get more information and registration material on the Events page.


Australia in 2007: Although I’m disappointed that the folks in Darwin, Northern Territory will be unable to offer workshops this time, we hope it will be possible another year. Plans continue for workshops and professional trainings in Melbourne and Western Australia (Perth/Fremantle) in March-April of next year. I’ll add information to the Events page once we have settled on the specifics. I’ll also add information about any other events that might be added later. Although interest has been expressed, the only definite commitments at this point are from people in Victoria (Melbourne) and Western Australia.


Norway in 2007: I heard recently from my good friend and colleague Torbjørn Herlof Andersen. Torbjørn is a professor and counselor/therapist, active in raising awareness and creating services for male survivors in Norway. He is interested in organizing Norway’s first conference on male sexual abuse to be held during the summer of 2007 (probably in June). He wrote, “We think that the conference will run 2 - 3 days (2 days most likely), and we want to invite people working in the field and close to the field to try to create some more understanding around the topic here in Norway. I think that is badly needed.” He seems confident that it can happen (and when Torbjørn decides to do something, I assume it will be done). I may know more about the plans after I see Torbjørn at the Healing the Healers Retreat. For more information, contact him at torbear3@yahoo.no

Torbjørn also told me he will be starting a group for former orphanage boys, now middle-aged men, who were sexually abused as children.


Bangladesh in 2006 and beyond: In mid-June, The Next Step was contacted by Md. Abul Khaer, Program Manager of a Child Abuse Prevention Program in Bangladesh. He is interested in developing a partnership between us and their agency, Development Initiative for Social Advancement (DISA). This organization is funded by Save the Children Sweden/Denmark. Mr. Khaer is responsible for work in the areas of prevention & protection regarding child sexual abuse, reducing hazardous child labor, and prevention and protection regarding trafficking of women and children. We are very excited about developing this working relationship. To that end, we are trying to arrange visits by Mr. Khaer to the UK and USA this summer, and to have him attend Healing the Healers.

They are interested in having Thom Harrigan and me work with them to create counseling institutions especially with a view toward providing proper counseling and psychosocial support to abused children and adults, and training care givers and counselors in supporting victims. Mr Khaer wrote, “Basically in our country, no such type of institution (has been) developed yet, not even a well-structured lesson plan made at the Universities on counseling services. Just some of our organizations organizing some sort of training on counseling task by taking resource persons from abroad especially from India.”

They are also planning the nation’s first national workshop on counseling services at the end of this year. We are hoping to participate in this event.

I’ll keep you posted on developments in this exciting possibility.


Finally, a reminder. There has been a slight change to our mailing address.

The postal service changed the box number from P.O. Box 1146 to P.O. Box 301146. The rest of the address remains the same: The Next Step Counseling and Training, P.O. Box 301146, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA. Our office phone number remains 617-277-7172. Please make the change; the postal service tells us that they will cease forwarding mail sent to the old address.


I look forward to reporting to you in August about the trip to England.

Take care.