The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions.
If you need support, 1in6's free and anonymous online helpline is available 24/7.
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The Bristlecone Project
Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors
to the following donors for their generous support of The Bristlecone Project
Aaron Matthew Mitchell
Ali R. Sorbi
Chris L. Terry
David A. Washington
Howard Fradkin, Ph.D.
Jason Lee and 30is30
Jeff Griffin and Sarah Trawick
Julio C. Rodriguez
Keith Rennar Brennan
Mark Godoy Jr.
Martin Daniel Lowther
Matthew J. Feikema
Mike Lew and Thom Harrigan
Shannon R. Bell, MSW
Stacy Neilsen Kalstrom
Strength in Scarves
Ted and Kathy Truscott
Alain is transforming the terror of sexual torture into a commitment to help other male survivors, and to bring public attention to the reality of male sexual victimization.
Speaking out publicly and working to change Georgia’s statute of limitation laws have helped to Alan to get his power back, a crucial step in his healing.
Profoundly neglected as a child, then sexually abused by priests, Alan has finally found a community among fellow survivors at MSSAT in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Alastair has transformed his own trauma by creating community resources for fellow survivors, from Leicester, England to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and soon beyond.
As medical director of a hospice care facility, Andrew shares the compassion born of his own suffering as a child.
Andy overcame years of addiction and now helps others who are learning to live their lives free of drugs and alcohol.
After 46 years of silence, Barry finally disclosed his secret, and now he is looking ahead to a new life of openness and activism.
Nightmarish memories have forced Bill to re-define his childhood, but he has embraced the challenge and the meaning it has given to the rest of his life.
Drawing on his courage and determination, and on the grace of the music he creates at the piano, Bill is winning the struggle to overcome the ravages of his childhood.
After confronting the emotional legacies of the abuse, Bjarne Kristian rediscovered the fearless boy who hurtled off ski jumps in the Norwegian hills.
More than two decades after he was abused by a coach, Brent reported the abuse to the police, endured a grueling two years, but saw his abuser convicted.
Overcoming a childhood ravaged by severe domestic violence and sexual abuse, Brent has found within himself a wellspring of compassion for himself, and for those who harmed him.
Having confronted the sexual trauma that marred his childhood, Bret now works with sex offenders, striving to understand the forces that drive them.
Brett is transforming the trauma of abuse through his art and spirituality, using film and music to heal the wounds of his childhood.
Betrayed and abused by a close family member, Brian set out to build a new family anchored in love and trust.
Brian is transforming the pain of his childhood through public speaking, his book, and by rebuilding cast-off bikes and giving them to children in need.
It has taken Brian’s steadfast, lifelong commitment to healing himself to overcome what a child rapist did to him in a single day.
For Brigham, “Coming alive has been a liberation. Not all at once. It is happening day by day.”
An iron will, “Irish stubbornness,” and the written word have carried Callen from a childhood of abuse to an adulthood as a successful playwright and activist on behalf of male survivors.
A collegiate soccer goalkeeper, now a husband, a father and yoga instructor, Cam is on a lifelong journey of healing.
After years of abuse, Christian found sanctuary working on dairy farms across New Zealand, then found true release from the power of disclosure and of testimony.
Colin became the end of life caretaker for the man who, fifty years earlier, has abused him for many years; because he was able to forgive the man, his brother.
A fierce commitment to healing, to honesty, and to his creative talents has propelled Daniel along the road to recovery.
Darrel risked disclosing to his wife the sexual abuse that marred his childhood, and has been rewarded with 40 years of mutual love and support.
As a teenager, Das could not disclose his abuse when his girlfriend revealed her own. But three decades later, he righted that “self-betrayal,” and today he and Amanda are building a life together.
Dave found solace in books, and meaning through language, and courage in the act of disclosure.
After years of shame and self-blame, David has found a way to re-connect with himself, emotionally and spiritually.
Only when he began to confront what had been so long hidden did David begin to free himself from its effects.
With the help of family and friends, David battled his way back from addiction to confront and overcome the abuse that had destroyed his faith.
Faith, loving parents, his stalwart father, and musical talent helped David reclaim his life and recover from a childhood rape that could have shattered him.
With his faith in God and in himself, and with the help of an “angel,” Dennis is turning around a life marred by sexual trauma and drug abuse.
Therapy, meditation and perseverance have enabled Desmond to heal himself after years of abuse by a family member.
After suffering catastrophic rapes as a child, Don lived for decades with severe PTSD. Now in middle age he has channeled his ancestors’ strength to begin walking the path of healing.
Faith and determination have helped Don to overcome the abuse he suffered and to look ahead to a career in counseling fellow survivors.
Through treatment, and through a decades-long meditation practice, Douglas has experienced genuine healing.
With the steadfast support of his wife, and with capable hands that turn found objects into sculpture, Dugal has confronted the past and become a leader for fellow survivors.
Ed has battled against abuse, bullying, betrayal and indifferent government agencies. He’s now setting his sights on a new start in a very different land.
A sublime sense of humor, an iron will, and talking with fellow survivors are helping Eelim to overcome the legacies of severe trauma.
Abused as a child by a priest, it was in prison that Emery re-connected with his Maori roots and found the strength to pursue healing and re-connection with fellow survivors.
The loss of his older brother launched Eric on the path to healing, and ultimately to breaking a lifetime of silence.
Drops of love enabled Eric to survive his violence-marred childhood, and to transform his suffering into a motive for action.
Frank has disentangled the knots created by his abuse, and liberated the poet and musician that lies within him.
An ex-policeman and now a successful businessman, Geoff has also had to master the inner world of hurt and pain that are the legacies of the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.
Gino credits his faith in God and loving family – his wife and three children – with giving the strength to overcome his traumatic childhood.
Graham found safety and strength in the forests of northern Ontario, and in his own roots in the Ojibway nation.
Greg has transformed childhood trauma into “a fractured but effective healing” by drawing on his own and his Nana’s integrity and resolve.
A work colleague, a priest, therapists, fellow survivors, and Greg’s own courage and perseverance have enabled him to confront the past and open up a hopeful future.
Hank Estrada has found peace in the serene landscape of New Mexico, and love in his 30 year relationship with his life partner.
A letter from his sister sparked Harold’s journey toward healing from years of abuse at the hands of his parents.
Surviving a childhood of horrendous torture, Glen turns his passion for life to helping his fellow survivors.
Matching the tenacity of his wounded soul, Iciyapitate has confronted the legacies of the savage abuse that marred his childhood and looks forward now to a life of caring.
Growing up gay in an often hostile world, and suffering abuse, are challenges that Isaac has navigated without losing his magnetic smile.
A soul mate, a community of fellow survivors in Christchurch, and poetry have all helped Jack to survive and emerge from a childhood devastated by trauma.
Confronting the legacies of generations of sexual abuse within his family, James now looks ahead to helping fellow survivors as a victim advocate.
James marshaled the resources he needed to launch his recovery, and now shares his love with abused and neglected dogs.
Jaron found the inner strength and the external help he needed to overcome childhood abuse, adult trauma, and discrimination, and he still smiles infectiously.
By confronting his abuser – in court and at parole hearings – Jason has transformed trauma into staunch advocacy, for himself and other survivors.
Multiple traumas have afflicted Jason – sexual abuse, assault, and serious injury in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. But he has persevered, rebuilding his life while helping to rebuild his home town.
A Colonel in the Army and FBI agent, Jay has confronted and overcome challenges out in the world and within himself.
A profound spiritual faith, tenacity, and the help of good men and women saved Jean-Paul from a childhood that even Dickens could not have fathomed.
Abuse at seven, and a survivor of his sister’s homicide at 14, Jeff has devoted his life to other survivors and to protecting their rights in the court system.
After decades of secrecy, disclosure, the realization that he is not alone, and counseling have “lifted a lid” off of Jeff’s life.
Casting off the burden of shame he had carried for many years, Jim has become an advocate for fellow survivors.
Jim went to the FBI/NYPD Sexual Exploitation of Children Task Force and they asked him to wear a wire.
A veteran psychiatric nurse, Jim has transformed the trauma of the boarding school rape that scarred his childhood, turning it into compassion and insight that serves others in pain.
Silenced for years by the betrayal and abuse of a priest, Joe found his voice and creatively transformed his pain and anger into the successful play, “For Pete’s Sake.”
When he began reckoning with the legacies of the abuse he had suffered as a child, Joe discovered the true meaning of the message, “you are not alone.”
After many years in addiction and in prison, Joe has been clean since 2007 and is looking forward to the publication of his memoirs.
Today, through writing and counseling, Joel is on the mend, and he and his wife, Amy, are closer than ever.
John faced down his abuser, 25 years later, and found the road to redemption.
John promised that if he received help he would devote himself to helping other children who suffered abuse.
Abused by a family member, John found support and love in his family and a path toward healing the legacies of his stolen childhood.
It took years, and hard work to tame his drinking and his anger, but today Julian can enjoy simple and profound pleasures, like holding his son and watching him grow.
Abused by an uncle, but never disconnected from his family’s love, Julio found the strength and courage to forgive.
It took an “angel,” now his wife, Diane, to help Keith heal from the scars of sexual abuse and betrayal perpetrated by a Catholic priest and music director.
Ken fought the world – literally and figuratively – until he found his way into a peer support group for male survivors, and he has never looked back.
Faith and poetry are giving Kirk the strength to confront the abuse that marred his childhood.
His openness to others, his capacity to listen to his inner voice, and the loving support of family have nurtured Lamarkus on the path to recovery.
After a career in the British Army, Lee became a detective, transforming his childhood trauma into a gift for earning the trust of victims of sexual violence.
Faith, hope, and love, entwined with his Maori roots, have helped Lewis to survive a childhood marred by family violence, and an adulthood marked by acute grief.
A deep spiritual connection, inner strength and intelligence have guided Hart from severe trauma to a present filled with compassion and professional accomplishment.
His youth shattered by a rape at 13, Manassah struggled but ultimately “chose life,” and through that choice has found happiness.
A lifelong relationship with God and music have guided Marcel’s healing from a brutal assault and motivated his work to mentor boys and men who also need a guide.
Composing a suicide note to his teenage son, Mark instead found himself unburdening himself of decades of secrecy. In this act came the liberation from shame and reconnection with others.
A keen intellect and artistic talent have allowed Mark to express and define his pain, and they are leading him along an accelerating path toward healing.
Mark is able to transform his pain through music…
With help from an “angel,” Marty found his voice, and today makes his living as a writer, an actor, a singer and a playwright.
A Major in the US Army, a seasoned attorney, a veteran of the Iraq War, and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Mason looks ahead to a new chapter after he retires from the Military.
Years of sexual abuse as a child led to years of drug and alcohol abuse and violence as a member of one of New Zealand’s motorcycle gangs. Then came a life-altering moment in a church.
Silenced by the step-father who devastated his childhood, Michael worked hard to find his voice and now uses it to fill theaters.
Michael’s ready smile and his capacity to connect with other people survived and thrived despite his childhood marred by sexual abuse.
A penchant for poetry and an operatic voice have helped Michael to heal the deep wounds inflicted on him from a childhood scarred by incest and betrayal.
Michael has transformed his catastrophic childhood into a passionate devotion to helping traumatized and disadvantaged children around the world.
Reading about courageous stories of survival; and ultimately, music, saved Michael Skinner.
Tapping into a reservoir of courage and determination, and with the help of a patient therapist, Mitch is overcoming sexual abuse and years of addiction.
Transforming suffering into compassion and action, Ned leads an organization that brings water, and visibility, to villagers around the world who have otherwise been passed over.
Patrick has been rebuilding his capacity to trust, and his openness to intimacy with others.
For many years Paul lived with the misplaced burden that he was somehow responsible for abuse that derailed him. Confronting the abuse has freed him from that burden.
A learned hyper-independence, a talent for invention, and a connection with God have enabled Pete to overcome multiple experiences of sexual abuse.
Persistence, good therapy, yoga and meditation, and the loving support of a sensitive partner have helped Peter to heal from the abuses of a Catholic priest.
Peter has sought to infuse his work with his capacity to see those who use their power to harm others, not as monsters, but as human beings in their full complexity.
A breakdown at age 40, painful, but embraced, has led to a man now at peace with both pain and the transformation of pain, and with connection to others.
Randy’s inner strength has been tested and found to be solid; able to support not only his own recovery, but that of other survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Religious faith has helped restore Raymond’s capacity to trust, and therefore to connect with others. In so doing it is healing the breach created by four years of sexual abuse.
Rees has transformed the darkest hours of his life into a commitment to his own healing, and to the healing of fellow survivors in South Africa.
Targeted because he was “different,” both within and outside his family, Richard battled back to become a successful professional and married man who is no longer defined by his tormenters.
Rick currently leads Men & Healing – a freestanding clinic for male survivors with a 20 year-old track record of service.
Grace and a stubborn persistence allowed Bob to survive a childhood of horrors, to heal, and to become a writer and advocate on behalf of fellow survivors.
Today, Rocky’s eyes glitter with life and determination, despite decades of life burdens and a childhood scarred by abuse.
Healing from severe sexual abuse has been a decades-long commitment for Scott, to reclaim his voice, to tame his anger, and ultimately to forgive.
Sean wrestled for much of his life with the demons set loose by years of abuse as a child, but he has found connection in the community of survivors in New Zealand.
Failed by his parents, and then failed by the institutions that took over, Shane has found hope in his own connections, with a woman he loves, and with fellow survivors at Nelson’s Male Room.
Abused by multiple perpetrators, Stephen finds strength and joy in running, and in looking ahead to helping other men to find the strength to face their own challenges and traumas.
His life possibly saved by a foster family that took him in after years of abuse, Stewart now passes it on by helping others in desperate need of kindness and a helping hand.
Tedd connected with a source of love that allowed him to transcend the brutality and rejection inflicted by his parents.
When Tom finally released himself from the burden of his lifelong secret, he discovered the joy of intimacy unconstrained by the fear of betrayal.
Centuries-old spiritual ceremonies helped unlock Tom’s buried past and propelled him to a healthier, more centered life.
Abused by a priest, betrayed by the church, but buoyed by his family, Tom has chosen to hold the church accountable.
Surviving and healing from years of physical and sexual torment by his mother is Tom’s lifelong task. With the support of his wife, and fellow survivors, he is succeeding.
Nurtured at first by the purity of his grandmother’s love, Tony has healed through his connection to the universe of those whose wounds cry for compassion.
Walter’s commitment to therapy, meditation, and running have propelled him along his path of healing after a decade of sexual abuse as a child.
The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions. If you need support, 1in6's free and anonymous online helpline is available 24/7.
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