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
This organization really only offers a discussion boards, which can be dangerous and unhelpful if you aren't in the right "clique." Their website is outdated and unhelpful and recently all they do is ask for money.
Aside from their chat boards and a few "Weekends of Recovery," which receive mixed reviews, they don't seem to do much else.
There's no other organization that addresses men's issues pertaining to sexual abuse. MaleSurvivor is made up of caring facilitators and therapists. I participated in two of their Weekends of Recovery and was touched and awed by the high level of compassion, concern and respect. I can't recommend this organization highly enough! Thank you.
Coming out of a 10 year relationship at the age of 43, I began doing research on what resources were available for men who had been sexually abused. I came across the MaleSurvivor.org website. Seeing the plethora of resources on the site provided me with the information I needed to begin my recovery process.
I was intrigued when I read about the Weekends of Recovery. At my first retreat, I remember thinking: “This is the safest place I’ve ever been”. I was surrounded by other men who could relate to and understand the feelings I had about having been sexually abused. The professional facilitators were unlike many other professionals, they understood — and knew how to respond appropriately to — various aspects of how sexual abuse affects men in particular.
Having attended 5 Weekends of Recovery, I can say that I feel more open and better connected. I have significantly reduced feelings of anger, guilt and shame; and I’ve learned that it is valuable to pay attention to how my body processes my emotions.
It’s been almost 4 years since I found MaleSurvivor. I no longer feel that I need to be anonymous in regard to the fact that I was sexually abuse. I, in fact, have gone public. Being involved with MaleSurvivor has helped me to significantly reduce the negative effects of the abuse in my life, and I know this also holds true for many other men.
For over 3 years, I have been facilitating a peer-to-peer support group for men who have been sexually abused. Doing so has helped to increase my self-worth and ability to connect with others. The group was started over 8 years ago by 3 men who had attended a MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery. Many of our members find us through the “Find a Support Group” section on MaleSurvivor.org.
So, this is one man’s testimony about the MaleSurvivor organization. It is an authentic organization. Did they pay me to write this? In many ways, yes, but not monetarily. They paid me with resources, tools, professionals, a community of men, and a foundation which helps me to excel in my recovery and my personal life.
I don't know where I'd be without this organization - my childhood sexual abuse spanned 10 years, involved multiple abusers and included torture - I never thought anyone would understand, believe or care for me. It was the first place I was able to safely disclose my history, outside of private counseling. The self-mposed silence/secrecy and overwhelming sense of shame was almost too much to bear. On their website I am able to address topics with other survivors in a safe, anonymous environment but I'm able to make connections with other survivors at my discretion. I have made life-long friends from MaleSurvivor.org, particularly through the Weekend of Recovery programs. Every male survivor, whether their abuse was a single event or over decades, should have a place they feel welcome, heard, understood. The therapists at the Weekends of Recovery, the moderators on the website and the fellow members on the website are supportive and undertsanding. I am surviving and actually thriving - thank you MaleSurvivor.org.
MaleSurvivor's programs are not as all-encompassing as they portray them to be considering their mission statement is "overcoming sexual abuse of boys and men." Their Weekends of Recovery program appeared to me to be geared almost exclusively toward male child sexual abuse victims. This program was of very little use to me as a survivor of rape as an adult. The organization is openly hostile toward male adult rape survivors by censoring their thoughts and speech on their discussion boards through private messages, open retaliation, and banning users. The organization has also had problems as recent as 2 years ago with moderators on their discussion boards engaging in inappropriate behavior with underage participants. The leadership of this organization is cliqueish in that the administrators of their discussion boards and executive leadership have rotated through the same group of people with very little outside blood brought in. In short, this nonprofit appears to me to management issues and fails to abide by their mission statement.
I have found a new life in part to MaleSurvivor.org. Through my therapist, i found out about the MS website where I really began to understand what had happened to me as a child. I found a safe haven to read about others who shared in my pain and personal shame. I was not alone. I found others who 'got it' and a place where I didn't have to explain things...these other men understood. Understood a lifetime of depression, suicidal thoughts, and self loathing. Having this organization as a source of information and support has literly saved my life. I've attended three workshops, the MS World Conference in NYC, been in the audience for Oprah's 200, contibuted to a book on healing, and am now thriving all in part because of MaleSurvivor. I am proud to call all these other men I've connected with through MS, my Brothers. This organization and the people who serve in it, is and are trully amazing.
I was one of the lucky ones who found Male Survivor in my earlier years (late 20's). In this organization, I was freed from secrecy and shame, and I can almost say today that the abuse was not my fault. Just in the healing and growth I have received to date, I am a completely changed person. I know that I am not alone and I walk with my head held high. I want to thank the MaleSurvivor organization for facing one of the most difficult issues of our times. MaleSurvivor fosters healing for men, and in turn, heals relationship, families, and communities. Thank you to the staff and counselors of MaleSurvivor. Their compansion, courage, and leadership are extraordinary! Truly one of the best gifts of my life.
I found malesurvivor in the midst of the worst crisis of my adult life. At the age of 51 my world (which appeared to most as wonderful) was falling apart. I did not understand what was happening to me, my dreams, the flash backs, panic attacks, dissociation... uggh and thoughts of suicide. It was than that I found malesurvivor. To say that this organization, and the therapists involved, saved my life is not an exaggeration. I have attended the level one and level two weekends of recovery, I attended a weekly support group for two years and I now have had the opportunity to share my story at several university's. I was raped when I was 12 years old and never once told anyone about what had happened to me. Malesurvivor was the only place that gave me the safety and understanding to began to talk and heal from the trauma of my past. Thank you Malesurvivor..
Malesurvivor is the world leader in the area of sexual violence towards men and boys. And sexual abuse of men and boys is statistically one of the largest social issues on the planet. That demonstrates how important Malesurvivor is as an organization. I first learned about Malesurvivor through their incredible webiste, that offered so much resources of healing, support and hope. And it was there I disocovered their Weekend of Recovery Program which I atteneded when it was held in Ontario, Canada. That weekend not only changed my life, it saved my life. It was a pivitol point in my healing journey that continues today. And now as an alumni I continue to recieve support from from Malesurvivor. They are without a doubt the most important not-for-profit , the work that they do is priceless.
I have had the opportunity to attend three weekend workshops provided by malesurvivor and it has been a life changing experience As a boy of eight I was abducted and raped. I did not realize had much this assault affected my life. I have so much gratitude for these men and women that volunteer their time and energy to help men. They provide a safe place for men to come together and heal. The weekends are a time to grow and connect with people