That little boy was 3 years old when the abuse began. By the time he was 9 years old there had been 5 male abusers. I'll not get into my personal story but let me assure you my abuse was nothing compared to the horror stories you will find in MS. (I'm not supposed to compare ... but I was never hurt) Read some of them ... and try to sleep at night. I joined MS on the 30th of October in 2012. Circumstances in my life at the time were dire ... if I had not found MS I would not be here writing this review. Subsequent periods of my life since then have also been difficult. I am Bipolar and severely diabetic and isolate myself and without MS I don't think I could survive. I am here almost every day. I'm here for me ... and I'm here for them. That's what it's all about. The site itself is a lifeline ... but it's the men that make MS what it is. We gather here in safety ... in camaraderie ... we cry ... we laugh ... we live. We are free to share of ourselves without the kind of fear the world still imposes on male survivors of sexual abuse. We are still not as well understood as female victims. Our circumstances have unique aspects and even in the professional medical field we still run into challenges not faced by women. Here ... we can just be who we are ... and not just what we are. I have a Therapist and access to a Psychiatrist if I need one and an MD who is incredibly caring and supportive. My medicinal needs are well managed. All of this is what I've been blessed with for 30 years. I live in a city ... and a country ... where that's possible. Other men are not so lucky. A large number of them live in areas of the world ... domestically and internationally ... where there is nothing! They have nowhere to turn ... nowhere to go ... nowhere to run ... no hope. MS is all they have. Sincerely ... Shawn
I am a survivor of childhood sex abuse beginning at age 5 until age 7. It was in the late fifties when something like that was not on too many peoples' radar. Certainly not mine. I come to MaleSurvivor for the comraderie and the understanding I need. I have an great therapist and my family tries to be as understanding as possible should I bring any of it up to them (wife of 38 years and 3 great adult children). MaleSurvivor is my go-to nearly daily for the support, the I've-been-there-too compassion and wisdom that I don't receive anywhere else. It has been a lifeline. For nearly 50 years I never told anyone - no one. My wife had no idea (but she thought there as something ). After summoning up the courage to make that first call and begin my therapy sessions I began to see that I'm not so alone. That's when my therapist told me about MaleSuvivor. I looked into it and the rest is history, so to speak. I am not alone. It wasn't my fault. I did nothing wrong. I need to hear that daily and that's why MaleSurvivor is so important.
Places like this are a miracle to me. It has really helped with my healing journey. It is professional and anonymous, and so many topics come up that resonate deeply. There are some very good men on here. Highly recommend.
The photo is me the year the abuse happened.
my therapist steered me to M/S but being who i am it took me a couple of months to look into it , im in my 60's and was never in a chat room but i went in to see how it worked and right away i felt at home the guys i met and chatted with overall were a nice crowd and i liked being there , plus the healing circle came to be super important to me i tried to attend both nights a week it was held, i made some good friends in chat which kinda surprised me even met one of the guys for dinner in NYC had a real nice time, all in all M/S in a sense saved me from the madness that had over taken my life at the time , im still in chat at least 4 nights a week and volunteer as a greeter to help out and donate $ when i can , i feel like a part of a community here along with others like me that had horrible things visited on us its a safe place.
I was 8 when the abuse started and 20 when it ended. Those years left me with a lot of emotional, mental, and physical problems that I didn't know how to handle. I didn't even know where to start getting help.
I found MS and was immediately drawn to it for the anonymity of the site. I joined after months of being a 'visitor' and reading other men's posts. I related to so many of them.
After joining, I received so much support. All the fear of people not believing me, the fear of isolation, and the fear of being rejected was met with hope, support, and encouragement.
I received so much advice from so many others. I feel included and valued. I never believed before MS, that the hope I feel now was possible.
I joined MS in the summer of 2015. I had already been struggling really badly for about 6 months with the sudden revelations of my childhood sexual abuse, clerical childhood sexual abuse. So much confusion. So much shame and guilt. Fear beyond comprehension. There was nowhere to go, no one I could really turn to for help. I was basically paralyzed. This was far from the first time that I'd been in a difficult situation and needed to "fend for myself." But I'd always been able to get through somehow. My faith saved me more times than I can count. God has always been by my side. And yet, with this enormous burden, it felt like I needed something more. There's a lot of literature about sexual abuse. While the principles still basically all apply, the majority of what's available is geared to women. There's nothing very enticing or helpful about that when one of the key components of male CSA (childhood sexual abuse) revolves around questions of and uncertainty about masculinity.
Finding MaleSurvivor was a lifesaver for me. It is a warm and welcoming community. It is an incredible resource of volunteers. Those of us there know what it's like to be confronted by such a horror. Those of there know just how difficult and lonely it is. As they told me, and I now spread the word, to those of you who have endured the horror of CSA: YOU ARE NOT ALONE, help is available, it is free, it is freely given by those who know it, by those who care and are ready to take you in.
For decades I thought I as alone in my childhood sexual assault (CSA). One night, and decades of stuffing my abuse away, panic attacks, flashbacks, relationship issues... I wanted to end my life.
Calling a crisis line, I was directed to RAINN, which then got me CSA specific help in my state. It was also recommended I check out MaleSurvivor as additional online support. My journey to survive my abuse began!
The words “You’re not alone” Had such weight behind them when I first signed on to MaleSurvivor. I was in this to save my life! The members from the welcoming volunteers, to other survivors was overwhelming and welcome.
Coupled with Therapy, MaleSurvivor offers as a sounding board for the things I’m working through. There have been dispirited times when I just feel alone in my journey, and simply need to talk with someone. Having a therapist is highly recommended when engaging at MaleSurvivor. I’ve learned from MaleSurvivor and Therapy that - I have a voice. I am strong. I am not alone. It wasn’t my fault. Those words sound cliche, but there is real weight and validation behind them, because I’m here to share this with you.
I would recommend MaleSurvivor to anyone going through therapy and needing a community behind them - because they’re not alone.
I have been coming to MaleSurvivor since March of 2019. It has truly been a God-send! The experiences of the thousands of men who have shared the stories over the many years they have been in existence has been so valuable to my Healing Journey. Knowing "I am not the only one" who has experienced my quirky symptoms has made me feel no longer alone! There is a vast wealth of knowledge there that cannot be found anywhere else. Having Chatrooms to discuss how I am feeling or wanting to reach out to other survivors also helps me no longer feel alone.
He served communion once a month in the local Presbyterian Church. He was a childhood playmate of my father's and the assistant scoutmaster in Troop 228. He also sexually molested me from the time I joined boy scouts at age 11 until I turned 15 and 1/2. I kept his filthy secret for more than 40 years my lips sealed by his lies and manipulations. Male Survivor is where I found I was no longer alone, where I learned it was not my fault and I was not a coward for "letting him". I am finally able to post here and to look people in the eye and tell them i am a child victim of a pedophile predator because of Male Survivor. The organization has helped me to move from survivor to thriver.
Thank you for sharing your very personal and moving story. We are so grateful for you and your support of MaleSurvivor.
I joined MaleSurvivor in 2005 after realizing that the abuse I suffered as a child was getting in the way of my mental health. I felt hopeless and struggled to deal with the emotions I had buried for years. The community at MaleSurvivor let me know I wasn't alone, and served as a support as I worked through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, and helped give me the courage to leave a bad relationship behind.
I drifted away from the site as my mental health improved, and entered into a healthy relationship that lasted eight years until my partner passed away. With their passing, all the old emotions and trauma resurfaced and needs to be dealt with. MaleSurvivor was my first stop for support as I searched for a counselor.
I don't know where I would be without the support MaleSurvivor supplies. As a way to pay it forward, I volunteer with MaleSurvivor so others might find the support I found.
I joined MaleSurvivor in 2016 when, after 39 years I had a breakdown about sexual trauma I suffered age 16 and other. I was greeted by others who knew what I was going through, and mentioned I take it at my own pace. There is a lot to learn regarding what healing can mean to each of us. I explored therapies, and wanted a chance to get feedback, and MaleSurvivor has been instrumental in helping me. There are a lot of men in need among us at any time, and we may never know that these men are struggling. When we can interact with others who can respond that what we write is valid and resonates with them, the burden can become lightened to work on. That's what I've found at Malesurvivor, and I'm very grateful.
George-Member since 2001 . Malesurvivor is an excellent recourse for male survivors of child sexual abuse & adult sexual assault and for their spouses and loved ones. There is decades worth of discussion forum posts with great insight in healing for the male survivor. You can get as involved as you want or not, it's up to you. They also offer other educational info and on-sight functions too.
I joined Male Survivor is 2019 and it has changed how I see myself and my past. I am extremely grateful for the support and education Male Survivor has provided me with!
Been a 12-year member of Malesurvivor and finding their website changed the direction of my life. I was struggling so deeply, more than I understood, because I knew nothing different from growing up as a boy sexually abused by an older cousin, and later by an adult. What I learned through reading the discussion forums and the healing circle chats has made an immense improvement to me and for my family.
It's a lifesaver. Their on-line forum and Healing Circle are fantastic resources for male survivors of Sexual Abuse.
Isolation is a major problem for survivors. I've encountered this directly and repeatedly. MaleSurvivor has helped me break out of it.
The men who post in their forums and attend their Healing Circle are wise, sensitive, helpful, eager to support, and committed to their healing purpose. It's a rare safe place for male survivors. I'm very grateful.
They are exploiting my story. 5 Months and they won't take my story off their site after after multiple requests and rejecting me. They won't even communicate, only erasing anything I put out about this.
I want to correct this for you. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide details so I can correct this immediately.
Malesurvivor.org is a good resource for men who want to connect with others to discuss and learn about their experience as victims of sexual assault. The forum discussions are quite helpful for this, and the "chat room" provides an opportunity to connect immediately.
The "Weekend of Recovery" events have excellent reviews from those who have attended. They are very expensive, but the organization has a program that assists those who request help in covering the fee.
Malesurvivor.org does suffer some flaws. The board of directors and executive positions consist of a small group of individuals who have served for years, highly qualified and respected professionals in the field. The organization's momentum has somewhat stagnated the past few years and would benefit from new perspectives among leadership.
Volunteer opportunities exist for unlicensed and untrained individuals to serve as moderators and related positions for the website community. As with all nonprofits, this type of hierarchy has opened the door for the occasional territorial individual to work into a position of authority over other volunteers, discouraging the participation of those they may perceive as a threat. The "chat room" and "healing circle" features are a point of concern, as these are headed by volunteers lacking in leadership and community-building skills. Although it takes only one or two of these folks to mar a good thing, malesurvivor.org has enough good people to keep the ship on course.
Considering these few weaknesses (which, again, are common to every nonprofit driven by unprofessional volunteers), malesurvivor.org is one of the most popular programs for men who are victims of sexual assault and has made a notable contribution in raising awareness of this issue.
Malesurvivor reaches out to a group of victims and helps them to resurrect themselves, reconcile with themselves, and renew their zest for life. The organization's workshops for other professionals and their weekends of retreat for survivors are days of hope for the members of the population which they tirelessly serve. I am a survivor of childhood trauma who has benefited so much from this excellent group.
Very empowering experience at the Weekends of Recovery. They provide a unique experience not available through any other organization. I have twice travelled well over 1,000 miles to be able to participate. Having professionals donate their time makes this more accessible to a wider range of incomes.
I attended and received a great benefit from a recent MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery. I highly recommend connecting with MaleSurvivor if you or someone you care about was sexually abused as a child.
I am a 64 year old male survivor working on recovery for 4 years.
Who knew?...I sure didn't.... I thought the incest, rapes, abuse and being pimped were my fault!!! Thanks to MaleSurvivors Weekends of Recovery, (WOR), I discovered they are not my fault and I am not alone. The WORs gave me the opportunity under the guidance of highly skilled therapists in a co-created safe environment to confront the demons and fears I kept secret for over 55 years. i sincerely hope that young men are reading this review and will consider the incredible confidentiality of MaleSurvivor and not wait to come forward for their own freedom. MaleSurvivor is a lifesaver.
I have been in recovery for the past two years going to therapy and engaging in mutual support groups but one of the most dramatic experiences I have had was attending the Male Survivors weekends and participating in the online forums. Male Survivor is an organization that cares and is making changes in the life of people that had no hope or way of coping with the effects of both male childhood and adult rape and abuse.
For so long I was searching for something to connect with, an organization that would not only help me get through this dark stage of my life, but a place to connect and be comfortable to share my story...Male Survivor helped me during my recovery and Im so glad I finally made the decision to go.
The Male Survivor website is the a treasure chest of information, the “Google” per male sexual victimization. It promotes validation and support and prompts survivors to overcome sexual abuse and soul cancer via direction and support with:
● Clarifying Definitions and
The Males Survivor Website appears to be the most esteemed, respected, embraced, referred to, and trusted worldwide provider of its kind.
Male Survivor's goal is somewhat akin to the way Danny Thomas attacked childhood cancer with awareness and hope via the St. Jude’s Children's Hospital;
Except with Male Survivor, the disease and those they attack is evil, darkness, victimization, sexual predators and bullies, power and control dynamics, and soul murder / cancer.
I encourage all sexual abuse survivors to muster the strength courage the explore Male Survivors' plethora of inviting and uplifting resources to start, and sustain their roads to resiliency and happiness.
Extraordinary weekend seminars. Life changing! Professional staff and counselors. Well organized events. A first class operation!
They are amazing! They have helped me through some of the toughest things in my life and I will be eternally grateful!!
So very valuable, a true life saver. Books, life lessons, discussion boards, conferences and healing retreats-so much help-I am so very grateful.
This place was a life saver for me. 6 years ago I was completely isolated, scared, & had no idea where to go. I came across this site shorty after seeking help and got connected with therapists & support groups in my area. I also went on a few weekends of retreat as advertised. Male survivor is truly nothing short of a life save for me. Life has gotten so much better I never could have imagined.
Male Survivor has played an immeasurable role in my healing journey. Male Survivor has provided help, healing, and support. I am forever grateful.
To whom it may concern,
I am writing as a survivor committed to recovery from trauma and abuse. My traumatic past consist of three different painful/horrible experiences; childhood physical and emotional abuse, multiple rapes/sexual abuse, and cancer.
For more then a decade I have been in counseling utilizing a variety of therapy models. During that process I was directed to join groups with a focus on healing and facing the sexual abuse. As such I have been trying lots of different sources. Although I somewhat benefited from them, my experience with Male Survivors was uniquely different and better.
Male Survivors approach is unique and was beneficial via:
-Emphasis on comfort, acceptance/tolerance, and none judgmentalism of the "healing" journey.
-Embracing the past abuse and grow with and from it, instead of hiding from and with it.
-Incorporating a humanistic approach to "healing", unlike any other program with special, dedicated, and committed assistance, (even financial) to ease the difficult and challenging recovery process of sexual abuse.
-Healing and strengthening the abused persona.
-The most understanding, dedicated and professional staff.
While acknowledging and even writing about this part of my life and journey has been challenging as it stired up traumatic haunt's, after my Male Survivor experience I can do just that.
Male Survivors truly stands by its motto " Dare to Dream" for those whose dreams have taken!
I am enormously thankful to Male Survivors and all those involved with running and supporting such a vitally needed organization, for those recovering and living with the challenges of sexual abusive experiences.
it is this organization that came up when I googled help for a victim. I was at the point of planning my demise and it is without doubt that this organization saved my life, I attended one of their weekends of recovery; and I was not alone. There were people that cared and wanted nothing in return. I left with with a renewed positive view and have continued to move forward. I know I am not the only one that feels this way, but they are great!
I kept my mouth shut for many years in fear, and tried a couple times to take my own life for what was done to me; but one day I went on the web and just put malesurvivor in google. What I found truly saved my life. I went to one of their weekend recoveries and was scared at first; but imagine being in a room with people who cared and wanted to hear, and wanted to listen. They did all that and more. I had something that someone said that I got triggered. For the first time in my life, I had someone stand by me and never left my side for over a hour. I felt like I mattered. I later went to one of their advanced weekend in Utah and these people rememebered my name and gave me a hug and meant it. Again I was with my brothers and regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, anything; everyone just exhaled and breathed. I remember what I said at the end of the first meeting. " I came with a brick wall and some of those bricks fell, but I feel great" I was asked to be part of Oprah's 200 men show in November 2010. I couldn't have had the courage to go if it wasn't for malesurvivior. When I was there, for the first time in 50 years I felt me feet planted on the ground, and that I mattered, and no one was going to tell I didn't matter. Oh, and by the way those feelings of doom; they are gone. I FEEL GOOD!
I have attended numerous conferences and Weekends of Recovery and am always amazed by the power of survivors of sexual assault coming together to find ways to heal. Providing the opportunity for both survivors and professionals to work together to heal and spread the message that healing is 100% possible is the focus of many of our activities.
As a survivor, being able to give back by serving on the board has an honor.
I encourage everyone who has been a victim of sexual assault to find ways to heal in community. if you are a male survivor of sexaul assault, then the community of MaleSurvivor is a great place to find Hope, Healing & Support.
Working on MaleSurvivor's board, I continue to be impressed by the volunteers that support our organization. Professionals from the therapeutic community, survivors of sexual assault, and those who love the men who have been sexually assaulted continue to find ways to encourage healing.
Our 2012 conference brought together all parts of our community to learn new ways to more effectively heal and share our message of Hope, healing and support.
2013 is filled with Weekends of Recovery, more use of the website's discussion board and many opportunities to increase awareness at conferences and Dare to Dream local community events.
I attended the "Day of Recovery" in Portland. It's obvious these folks care and are really knowledgable regarding Male sexual abuse. I wouldnt hesitate to recommend this organization to any male survivor I come in contact with.
I've also read the blog on malesurvivor.org... lots of support and good information there as well.. I believe the website is affiliated with this organization.
Male Survivor has been instrumental in expanding its scope of support to include males victimized by the commercial sex trade and human trafficking. An integral component to male victimization over the lifespan.
I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and I attended a Weekend of Recovery session this past May. It was a life changing experience. Not only was I able to connect with other survivors, the program was a tremendous help in moving my recovery forward. I did not even start therapy until age 45 - a few years ago - and the program brought my recovery process to a whole new level
The Weekends of Recovery are amazing. I have attending three. Until I attending my first, I had heard "you are not alone" (as a victim of sexual abuse). The problem was I always felt alone. That is until I met other victims, shared my story, heard their stories. Now I'm not alone.
I can't overstate how important the Weekends of Recovery are to my healing.
I'm also a donor.
I will be forever grateful to the male survivor organization for the impact they had on my life. They are a passionate and effective group addressing an issue that gets very little attention. There was no other organization for me to turn to. Trust and integrity were critical. Everything they do is geared with the survivor in mind. One thing they did for me that I could not do for myself was break through the shame. Shame is hard to hang onto when you are in a room of 60 men ages 18 to 70, all different backgrounds, and suddenly you are not alone. It wasn’t your fault. I wasn’t reading another book. I was listening to other men. It broke down a wall that needed to be smashed. I highly recommend this organization and continue to provide support so that other men might also benefit.
I was looking for a group that would help supplement my private therapy sessions. There were many organizations on line, but the majority of which were religious based, a turnoff for me. I found malesurvivor to be all inclusive, non-judgemental, extremely supportive of me and my needs. To add to the online experience, they offer weekends of recovery, a retreat where you can very quickly start and move forward in your healing process. I am enternally thankful for all the good work they have done and continue to do.
Nowhere else did I find people working so hard to connect victims to each other. I participated in a weekend of work with their therapists (3 out of 4 in the room unpaid but super qualified). Excellent results from just three days!
I had issues (most likely of my own making) with the discussion board they operate 24/7 but one of their tech type guys took care of it through perseverance and with patience toward me. Now working smoothly
They connect profoundly harmed men with each other to start a healing process that is so isolating and shame based if attacked alone. We do together what we cannot do alone.
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.
Male Survivor is so unique in having direct resources for men who have suffered from sexual victimization. From message boards, to Weekends of Recovery they are the only one of its' kind that truly has programs for men. They are continuing to grow so spread the word to people that Male Survivor is out there, and ready to provide Hope, Healing, and Support to men from all over the world.
Male survivor promotes education about men's issues and assists them in getting the help they deserve. They offer many different resources for males who have been through all sorts of traumatic experiences. We need more organizations like this raising awareness for men's issues.
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.
I have been a member of MaleSurvivor since 1995. As a woman, a Weekend of Recovery facilitator, and a survivor, i believe that this organization is most committed, conscious and heart full . It is a privilege to work with the men --and the women --at MaleSurvivor, to watch men form community that is vibrant and lasting, and to see that recovery is absolutely possible.
MaleSurvivor is the prime example of an organization that truly provides a meaningful and useful service to all its members. As a professional, I have worked with the Executive Director in an advocacy capacity and benefitted from membership through conferences and the general education and services MaleSurvivor provides to men who have experienced sexual violence. I always talk about this organization to each client I work with and recommend that they at least visit the website to make sure they know about the organization. I highly recommend MaleSurvivor to both professionals and survivors alike.
I am a male survivor and Co-Chair for the MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery program. This program and the overall organizations is providing unprecedented services for male survivors. The lives of thousands of survivor have been changed by the incredible work of this organization. The volunteers who work with the multiple projects sponsored by MaleSurvivor offer the highest quality clinical services and integrity.
I am a survivor who has been fortunate enough to work with MS now for the last 3 yrs. I have found the people to be wonderful. The service that MS provided to me and my wife prior to me coming on the board was invaluable and allowed me to feel comfortable telling my story as a survivor knowing that I would be heard and respected. A great resource for survivors, their friends and family or anyone else who is in this space.
I am a male survivor, a psychologist and addictions counselor, and the Co-Chairperson of the MaleSurvivor Weekends of Recovery. I attribute MaleSurvivor as being one of the major keys of my own recovery, and it is a resource I suggest to every male survivor I work with as a psychologist. Healing occurs best when a survivor is connected to a community of support, and that is what MaleSurvivor does best, whether it is through the Weekends of Recovery program, the moderated chat rooms, the bulletin boards where men can learn they are not alone, the therapist referral lists, or the international conference. The organization and its powerful website has important resources for professionals from many disciplines, for survivors, their partners, allies and advocates. I give the MaleSurvivor conference credit for providing me the most well-rounded, professional training in trauma treatment from the world's most competent and effective psychotherapists. The organization is well-run and administrative costs are well managed as well to convert most donations into active support for the men who need help to learn not only to survive, but also how to thrive.
I have worked for many years with the healing process of men who have experienced abuse. MaleSurvivor is an invaluable, sometimes life-saving resource and support in this area. I am impressed with the depth of their compassion, commitment, and clinical expertise in the services they offer. I highly recommend their supportive online community, and the wealth of resources and services. They change lives for the better!
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.
I'm a psychotherapist who has been working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse for 35 years. MaleSurvivor is an amazing resource for my male clients. The online information and discussion boards help them to move out of their isolation. The Weekends of Recovery offer professionally led retreats for men, providing a safe environment for healing and connecting with other survivors.
Every client I have sent to an MS weekend has returned with renewed energy, hope, and determination. And many of them have received a scholarship from MS in order to attend!
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
I am a survivor of childhood molestation and was raped by an older man when I was seventeen. I can not tell you how much this site has helped me overcome the feelings of guilt, shame, and anger from what happened to me. I joined it five years ago. Talking to other members about what has happened to us has really been a great help. I have worked with teen boys and young adults for over ten years now who have been molested and I always reccomend this site.
Because I the author of Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse, and of Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse In America's Military, I have had many clients who suffered sexual abuse. I always suggest they go the website as a way to get support and information on recovery from sexual abuse. I frequently suggest to these men that they attend one of the Weekends Of Recovery. Every one that has attended has reported it was a powerful healing experience. When I have present workshops for treatment professionals I always mention the conference as a excellent place to obtain practical training on the topic of sexual abuse treatment.
As a licensed psychologist who specializes in the treatment of males who were sexually abused as boys and/or sexually assaulted as men for years I have relied on Male Survivor to assist my clients and their loved ones. The first thing a recommend they do it go to MaleSurvivor.org to access the articles, private chat rooms, and other information that is available there. They can order helpful books that may not be available in their country. The mail order book service is useful for those men who are too embarrassed to buy a book on sexual abuse at their local store. This website is an excellent source of free, and more importantly, accurate information. As author of the books Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse, and, Honor Betrayed: Sexual Abuse In America’s Military I am contacted by men and their loved ones looking for resources. Even those people in rural area or countries where mental health resources are not available can use this site to reduce their sense of isolation. I also suggest my clients attend on the Weekends Of Recovery put on by Male Survivor. Every one of my clients who has attended these weekends has described it as a profound life changing experience. When I am contacted by other treatment providers seeking training on working with male survivors I always suggest attending Male Survivor’s conference in New York City, where people from all over the world come together to exchange the latest information on recovery from sexual abuse. It is the one conference I have always attended since it started.
MaleSurvivor is a first-rate organization. One of the few dedicated to helping men who have been sexually abused. This one actually does something to help, unlike others.
It has offered me connections with others who were abused, and even some lifelong friends. It has an online bulletin board that is heavily utilized.
MaleSurvivor offers weekend retreats that are excellent. They're affordable, in varying locations around the U.S., and at different levels of experience and recovery. Scholarships are available.
The organization is trustworthy and very well run.
As someone who has run other non-profits and served on various boards, I know firsthand that MaleSurvivor is a GREAT Non-Profit.
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."
I suffered from intense PTSD from simply being around women. I was very suspicious of kindness, and especially female attention. What few friendships I had were strained. I was barely holding on to my job. I spent the first few hours of each day just lying in bed. A psychology student pointed me towards Male Survivor. Two years later, I'm healing, have my dream job, and even one of those healthy relationship things people talk about. The support, acceptance, and education were life changing.
Bear with me as I explain my connection to MaleSurvivor.org.
I'm a single female and while surfing some offbeat websites with chat functions, a man contacted me who wanted to talk with me. He had a photo up and he was attractive, so I chatted with him online. Over time, we emailed quite a bit, spoke on the telephone and eventually met. But the truth was, although it turned out he was very successful, he was also very erratic in his moods and really didn't like anyone to get too physically close to him. He would make dates then cancel them. This went on for months. He alluded to some childhood sexual abuse, but didn't discuss it in depth.
After about 4 months of this, I REALLY wanted to know what was going on with him, so I started looking for answers. It took me another 4 months to find the website MaleSurvivor.Org, but I'm so glad I did. I went to the discussion forums and read and read and read and read when men had posted about their feelings about their abuse, and the effects on almost every area of their lives. After a bit, I began posting and sending private messages to some of the men, the men who seemed to have the most similar symptoms to the man I was communicating with. There was one man especially, an older gentleman, who had a lot of the same issues who pointed me to about 6 or 7 books to read, and 3 movies, to help me understand. They did help me immensely, and finally, about 12 months after first contacted by my friend, I got a clue. If you haven't been abused, and haven't had a heart to heart talk with anyone who has been, it's impossible to imagine all the problems it causes, just crazy off the wall stuff an unabused person would never think of.
I will say, it was kind of hard to endure some of the remarks from the women in the "Friends and Family" section. They didn't approve of the nature of my communication with this man, and they certainly let me know it. However, when I realized I had a friend with a 12 year old boy inside of him, I couldn't refuse to communicate with the 12 year old. He was lonely and appreciated someone talking with him.
Dealing with an adult who has a child inside him, and enduring the inner conflict this engenders in a man, is no easy task. Takes the patient of Job.
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.
THis organization has been around longer than any of the others geared to male survivors and it has a terrific group of programs including Weekends of Recovery, an intensive weekend experience with a great facilitator/survivor ratio; conferences every two years or so that welcome both survivors and professionals of all kinds; a Dare to Dream program that has been brought to venues around the country, based on an appearance of 200 male survivors (many from this organization) on Oprah!, which informs the public about the problem and encourages survivors to get help; and a website that in addition to having a lot of resources also offers a chat room and Discussion Forum where survivors can network anonymously and feel less isolated. Several of my patients have gone on a Weekend of Recovery, and the phrase "life transforming" was used by more than one. WIth time, I believe MaleSurvivor will offer services to a wider group of survivors, especially men assaulted in adulthood, as well as family and loved ones (who are, however now served on the Discussion Forum and occasional Weekends of Recovery for men and their partners). All in all, this is a vibrant program with dedicated volunteers that has done an enormous amount of good to an under-served population.
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