Productive strategies for engaging and working with men subjected to sexual victimisation in understanding and addressing gender based violence.

Stream: Men as Victims of Sexual Violence
Date: Thursday, 12 February 2015
Time: 11.00 am – 12.45 pm


There is an increasing awareness and body of knowledge detailing the sexual abuse and sexual assault of boys and men and the profound effect it can have on their lives and relationships. The panel will draw on primary research/practice and utilise a gender analysis to present and critically examine: • Impacts of sexual violence on men’s mental health and well-being (including increased suicidality). Identified barriers to disclosure and what are both productive and unproductive coping strategies. • The development, application and evaluation of gender appropriate psychosocial and therapeutic intervention strategies for working with men who have been sexually victimised and their families (with a focus on burgeoning online resources and interventions). • Developing recognition and opportunities to engage and work with men who have been sexually victimised as allies in addressing gender based violence and supporting gender justice (with a focus on learning from conflict and post conflict zones). The three papers will develop and build upon established knowledge and practice in foregrounding a productive gender analysis and collaborative approaches that reach beyond established borders.


Gary Foster (Presenter), Living Well
Dr Gary Foster’s work and research interests centre on addressing the problems of violence. He is the founder manage the Living Well service that supports men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault, as well as their partners family and friends. Gary has presented at national and international conferences in relation to working with men subjected to sexual violence. He has co-authored Living Well: A Guide for Men and developed the Living Well App for men sexually abused in childhood.

Patrick O'Leary (Presenter), Grioffith University
Professor O'Leary is Head of School of human Services and Social Work at Griffith University. Patrick has worked in the area child protection and gendered based violence for over 20 years providing research and practice expertise to government and non-government organisations. This work has been published in the various journals including Child Abuse and Neglect, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and British Journal of Social Work. Patrick also works as child protection consultant for humanitarian aid organisations having worked in Sudan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Albania.

Wynne Russell (Presenter), Independent Researcher
Dr Wynne Russell is an independent researcher into conflict-related sexual violence against men and boys who prepared a briefing paper on effective therapeutic and programming tactics for caring for male survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (see . She has addressed an OCHA research directions meeting and MSF’s annual Humanitarian Congress); and have engaged in advocacy with international humanitarian organisations in Europe, the United States and Australia. Dr Russell holds a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University.