As an adult male survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Malesurvivor has been an invaluable resource in my ongoing recovery. Their online material, forums, and weekends of recovery have all been tremendously helpful as I seek answers and healing. Thank you for the work you do, shedding light on such a dark topic and societal taboo - the sexual victimization of boys and the resulting tragic implications of how such experiences shape the adults they become. I do not know what I would do without access to such a tremendous organization.
Can't say enough about all of the good things I've experienced resulting from discovering and subsequently attending MaleSurvivor functions. It was through MaleSurvivor I discovered Dept. of Veterans Affairs (VA) has treatment programs for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) as well as helpful mental health treatment for the resulting PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), for which I am now managing its symptoms. I am also a survivor of childhood sexual trauma, and I have learned how that trauma has affected my adult life. THANK YOU MaleSurvivor.
MS has been instrumental in my recovery. I could not have broken my 35 year silence without their support and Weekends of Recovery.
Male Survivor has made and continues to play a defining role in my recovery from sexual abuse. I have attended three of their weekends of recovery, two days of recovery, attended two of their international conferences, and organized a weekend of events for male survivors in Portland, Oregon presented by Male Survivor. I facilitate o group of ongoing meetings for male survivors and many of the men who attend have participated in one or more of Male Survivor events. They continue to praise Male Survivor for the real world difference Male Survivor makes in their lives.
MaleSurvivor is an amazing organization. They run a powerful "Weekend of Recovery" program which helps the vast majority of (all?) male survivors of childhood sexual abuse who participate in the program. They run the largest conference in the world for male survivors, which takes place every two years, and is a great resource for survivors, supporters, therapists and law enforcement officials/ lawyers. They run a great website. They are incredibly committed. I cannot recommend this organization highly enough.
As a survivor of clergy sexual abuse and someone who lived for years with shame, guilt and isolation I want other survivors to know that this non-profit is a tremendous benefit to the male survivor community. I really don't know where to begin, the extensive book store has many books well worth reading, I have read several on their listing and I found them extremely helpful. The ability to log on to the discussion boards (at first anonymously) made it easy for me to learn what other male survivors were also experiencing, it certainly helped me understand I was no longer alone. The Weekends of Recovery, I attended 2, truly changed my life and helped me release much of the shame and guilt I carried in silence for so many years. Being with men who had the courage and strength to share their own stories of the victimization perpetrated upon them, helped me move forward. The staff was incredibly professional and most caring. I strongly recommend survivors attending some of these weekends. By the way if you talk to their administration staff...Trisha is amazingly helpful and kind.
At 70 and finally recognizing and acknowledging my abuse has been difficult. This past WoR was priceless for me, providing meaning, definition, clarity and most importantly, community support as I continue on my healing an understanding of this insideous invasion of my body and of my soul.
I am a richer man.
Bob from Bellefonte, PA
Review from Guidestar
As an end user, I have a number of problems with the organization/site. I wish I didn't. If you're a volunteer, the most candid, critical reviews are perhaps your best insight. Unlike administrators and staff, end users aren't beholden to the organization, its board or its agendas.
• Similar to what one reviewer posted below, my impression is this organization is about money and marketing. "Nonprofit" almost seems a misnomer. Their site hawks overpriced books, CDs and DVDs via Amazon ads (45 bucks for a paperback? Really?). Their so-called "Weekends of Recovery" are expensive affairs, costing each participant $750-1150, depending on number of roommates (Treating adult men, some with SAD or PTSD, like kids at college or children at summer camp? Really?). A membership "donation" entitles you access to a rarely-used Members Only discussion board.
• Though the site was initially helpful to me, homophobic innuendo (or worse) is standard. Moderators rarely confront it, even when asked...and the gay survivor who complains is the one likely to be censored and even censured. The only MS concession is a token GBT discussion area and token gay board member. Otherwise, religious and political bigotry is well tolerated, especially in chat rooms. If you're a gay or bi survivor, this is potentially an emotionally dangerous, triggering site for you. I'd proceed with caution or avoid the site altogether.
• in 12-step programs an oft-heard litmus for dysfunction is whether a person's words and actions are the same thing. What the Executive Director says and does regarding the homophobia are two totally different things. Nice words. Zero action. He ignores it. Any organization's personality comes from the top down.
• My impression is the ED comes off as a slick salesman with a well-polished pitch to entice you to attend one of his "Weekend$". Further, board members - a perpetually closed circle - seem to be encouraged to sell the weekends. To be forthright, I would not attend, not just because of my MS experience, but because it's marketed in a remarkably similar manner to the sham "Experience Weekend" (which was also facilitated by a PhD and about as close to MLM as a so-called nonprofit can get).
• Ethically questionable for any site requesting money, MS says can demand mental health details for site use - yes, it gets stored on their server - under some circumstances, including name/phone of your therapist if you have one. The good news is that any ethical practitioner would cite being bound by patient confidentiality, refuse any MS request, laugh at their arrogance and suggest MS administrators should seek therapy themselves.
• Requests for account deletion are ignored - ostensibly because of "software limitations" - so MS can parade membership numbers. Their much-touted 12,000 membership count is misleading, if not an outright lie. It's the total number of people, since the site's inception, who have ever had an MS account. It does not reflect attrition. It does not reflect active accounts. Realistic numbers are more likely in the hundreds.
In short, this organization needs a reset, a top-to-bottom housecleaning. It's stale, entrenched and complacent. My personal experience, like some other former members who happened to be gay, is that I felt betrayed, invalidated and re-victimized. Despite being somewhat helpful, at its worst, MS operates, ironically, similarly to those organizations (the RCC, Boy Scouts, etc.) notoriously complicit in childhood sex abuse: obfuscation, dismissiveness, minimizing, two-faced, arrogant, untouchable. Even Gordon Ramsay would walk out.
A solid, ethically-operated alternative I found is 1in6.org. From their site:
"Our words are carefully chosen, because we strive to:
1. Respect every man’s experience and point of view.
2. Avoid any definitions or labels that could drive away any man who could use this site to sort through his own unique experiences and options."
This organization is simply amazing. It's an answer to a prayer, nothing less. When I first started to deal with the things that occurred in my past and their effects on my life as an adult, I felt completely alone, isolated and afraid. Thanks to this outstanding group of people, the turnaround in my life has been nothing short of miraculous. The programs they provide are life-changing, and their discussion boards are far better than anything I ever hoped I could encounter. I can recommend no finer group of people for male sexual abuse survivors, period.
MaleSurvivor started in the early 90's, when I looked for help in the 80's there was none. When I realized how the sexual abuse effected me as an adult MaleSurvivor was there. I have attended three weekends and it has had a positive impact on my life. The first weekend when I walked into a room of other survivors, no words were needed, we all came to understand ourselves and a connection was make. Thank you for all the men who started this org in the beginning