Tim Mousseau, a national spokesperson on sexual assault survivor issues, and Jim Bartko, Fresno State’s director of Athletics, will deliver keynote talks at a new event this week for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The lecture, titled “Retaking our Story: Reframing the Sexual Assault Conversation,” will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in the North Gym (Room 118).
Bartko, who has publically shared his story as a survivor of child molestation, will discuss his experience in a residential treatment facility program to address issues stemming from childhood abuse. He will also talk about the importance of seeking help, and the University’s commitment to safety. It is Bartko’s first public appearance discussing the topic since he first shared his experience in a Fresno Bee article in January.
Mosseau, who currently works as a speaker for CampusSpeak, gives talks nationwide on concepts of creativity, sexual assault prevention and innovation. CampusSpeak is a national organization dedicated to supporting student success during their college years and beyond.
The Sexual Assault Awareness Month event is presented by Associated Students, Inc., along with Army ROTC, the Staff Assembly, Greek organizations and other campus groups. They are also sponsoring an information fair for students, featuring campus resources and free food.
“We are hoping that this will help raise awareness and equip students with the tools to prevent and respond to sexual assault incidences, especially with spring break the following week,” said Tim Ryan, ASI president and event moderator.
“Tim Mousseau and Jim Bartko have unique stories as male survivors and their message is about reframing the sexual assault conversation,” Ryan said. “I hope to see students and community members attend to support this effort, and especially to show support for our own athletic director and his experience with sexual assault.”
Mousseau earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership at Gonzaga in 2013. His research has focused on the inclusion of creativity in organizations.
Bartko, 49, came to Fresno State in January 2015 from University of Oregon where he was executive senior associate athletic director. A Central Valley born in Stockton, he attended schools there and in Pinole before graduating from Central Catholic High School in Modesto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports administration with a minor in business administration from Washington State University in Pullman.
In January, he revealed in a Fresno Bee article that on Dec. 20 he checked into Sierra Tucson, which provides rehabilitation services in Tucson, Ariz., for a 30-day stay to address issues with insomnia and anxiety that began as a child. He told a therapist he was molested around 35 times in the early 1970s by his childhood Catholic priest and basketball coach. Upon returning to his family, he revealed that secret to them and later to Bee reporter Carmen George for an article that published Jan. 14.
George wrote: “For other child abuse victims, he (Bartko) has this message: ‘Don’t be ashamed. Don’t hide it. Hiding it doesn’t do any good, because at some point it’s going to come out. Bad things can happen if you suppress your feelings, and I’ve felt some of those. Holding it in doesn’t do anybody any good. There’s help out there.’”