Dear 1in6 Family,
I wanted to take a moment and send a personal note to share a powerful and moving experience from this past week.
On Wednesday, I had the incredible honor of joining an audience of survivors of sexual abuse, as well as others whose lives have been impacted, for a special screening of the two-part documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which will premiere this Sunday, March 3rd and Monday the 4th on HBO. The documentary introduces two incredible men, both survivors of sexual abuse, Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
As a leading national organization helping male-identifying survivors of sexual abuse and assault, 1in6 both provided feedback to HBO on the effect of airing this powerful documentary, and recommended resources for survivors. Through this relationship, 1in6 was invited to participate in the taping of a television special, “Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland,” immediately following the screening.
As many television specials do, it all came together in a matter of days. Matthew Ennis, 1in6 President & Chief Executive Officer, reached out and asked if I would briefly share my story with Oprah and the audience. A short time later, Matthew and I joined over 150 fellow survivors and their guests in a theatre near New York’s Times Square for the taping. The cavernous room was filled with a positive energy I will not soon forget.
Oprah, who has been a lifelong supporter of survivors and the complexities of their stories, brought us all together for an honest and probing discussion of abuse. The honesty and vulnerability shared by Wade Robson and James Safechuck reinforced in me the importance of the work being done by 1in6.
I believe it is essential to acknowledge that, although he is mentioned throughout, this documentary and the Oprah special is not about Michael Jackson. This is a story of two men whose young spirits were betrayed in the name of love, and their personal journeys of healing.
I want to invite you to join us in watching the two-part documentary “Leaving Neverland,” beginning this evening and continuing tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. ET on HBO. The special, “Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland” will premiere immediately following the documentary, simultaneously on HBO and the Oprah Winfrey Network, on Monday at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Please remember to practice self-care before, during, and after watching the documentary. If you would like to talk with a trained advocate, visit 1in6.org on your computer or mobile device and navigate to our free and anonymous 24/7 helpline chat. You may also find additional resources at www.1in6.org and www.hbo.com/documentaries/leaving-neverland/resources.
I write you this note with soaring pride in the work of 1in6, and the hope that we will all continue to contribute to helping men heal.
With gratitude for all that you do in support of the vital work of 1in6.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors