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RAINN Supporters Day: Celebrating RAINN's Achievements

        Male Survivor Speaks Out After Private                        Practice Military Survivor Episode 

 

On February 2, 2012 it was a highlight to all male survivors who have been sexually assaulted or/and raped during their time spent in the military, because the Primetime ABC TV Medical Drama television show Private Practice gave their viewers an inspirational portrayal of this in their latest episodes storyline. It is important when using a significant storyline such as sexual assault and rape to portray the information being given (through the visual content and dialogue) accurately because for military sexual assault survivors like James Landrith is, it is incredibly important to not give out false messages. Thanks to having an organization like Entertainment Industries Inc (also known as EIC) they enforce and make sure this happens.

(EIC) is a non-profit organization founded in 1983 by leaders in the entertainment industry to provide information, awareness and understanding of major health and social issues among the entertainment industries and to audiences at large. – Entertainment Industries Council Inc.

Because it is the first time that a military survivor storyline has been shown on national television (Private Practice) through a specific character, the significance it brings to viewers is crucial because what messages they send out to viewers watching is strongly influenced to those who have been sexually assault or/and raped themselves.

Seeing sexual violence played out realistically can be validating, especially if the writing is good and the story-lines are integral to the plot, rather than inserted for shock value or titillation.  – James Landrith

On the February 2, 2012 ‘The Time Has Come’ Private Practice episode, we see Therapist Sheldon(played by Brian Benben)counsel a friend of Sam (played by Taye Diggs) that is a veteran who is a sexual assault survivor from the military and suffers from PTSD. It is a secret he has been keeping to himself until now.  – Based on the ABC Press Release

Many survivors, who have been a veteran like James Landrith, find it very overwhelming to come forward about their own sexual violation encounter. This is because they worry on how they will be perceived in public.  However, the beauty of showing this through the military survivor storyline used in Private Practice makes male survivors feel supported and know that what happened to them (whether they were attacked by a female or male) it is never their fault and they should not be ashamed of what happened.

I would explain that survivors heal at their own pace and that there is no magic formula to getting there.  It is, as the cliché goes, a marathon not a sprint.  Take your time, own the process, and reach out for help when you are ready.  How you are feeling is valid and it is not your fault.  – James Landrith

On the multi-episode storyline that Private Practice did in November 2010 based on one of their central character’s named Charlotte King (played by KaDee Strickland) we see her brutally attacked in her office and the journey of the aftermath. This inspirational multi-episode Private Practice Story-line gained enormous awareness from their audience on a global scale about RAINN (Rape, Assault, Incest, National Network) and was recognized from Entertainment Industries Council Inc which gained KaDee Strickland her PRISM Award.  From this, RAINN have been able to reach out to thousands of survivors who were not able to speak out before, and with the help from KaDee Strickand’s efforts and her dedication to RAINN, she too has been also been able to help survivors come forward thanks to her support.

If, every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in this country, there are a lot of people who are going to be watching this who knows what this feel like – KaDee Strickland says in an interview

Not only has the Private Practice Military Survivor Storyline been properly portrayed accurately throughout the episode but thanks to the important messages behind the visual images, it has helped reached out to even more people who are a survivor themselves. Survivors (whether they are male or female) like James, rely on support from the entertainment industry at times when they physically cannot talk anyone about what happened to them so accuracy on storylines is important.

Also, it can help educate non-survivors to a small extent on the aftermath of sexual violence, assuming the writers show explore such themes, rather than taking the overnight recovery route for the victim.  – James Landrith

So to anyone who is a survivor please know that you are supported by everyone and that you are never at fault. To get professional guidance please call RAINN on  1.800.656.HOPE because it is never too late to get help.

Please Note:  The Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a groundbreaking crisis support service for members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Safe Helpline provides live, one-on-one advice, support, and information to the worldwide DoD community. The service is anonymous, secure, and available 24/7 — providing victims with the help they need, anytime, anywhere. – RAINN