The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions.
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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors

Lee Jones

He was a hellion as a young child. A complete overmatch for his parents, both career British Army veterans. So at the age of eight, they shipped him off to a boarding school. The school structure gradually tamed Lee, but he grew up without his parents, a chasm that remains to this day.

The mystery of Lee’s childhood – the root of his wild behavior – was finally revealed when he was 17. He was working in a library. Suddenly, with no warning, the smell of ink and the perfume of a passing woman combined to trigger an earthquake of repressed memories, of being sexually abused, at the age of six, by a female babysitter. The earthquake left Lee reeling, but the child of two British soldiers clamped down on his emotions and followed his parents’ footsteps into the British Army.

Twelve years later, after service in the Gulf War and in Bosnia, Lee began a career in law enforcement. First in his native England, and later in his adopted country, Canada, Lee settled into his chosen profession. He slowly realized that his childhood trauma enabled him to connect with victims of sexual violence. Children trusted him. They were able to disclose to him what they had suffered. He was soon working with a team of investigators, solving difficult cases, producing the evidence needed to yield convictions. It is work that is deeply meaningful to Lee, but it has its costs. Empathizing with victims, genuinely feeling their pain and grief, means feeling their pain and grief.

Married and raising two sons, Lee is dedicated to ensuring that their childhoods are different from his own; unscarred by trauma, and nestled in a family imbued with their parents’ love.