Stop the sexual abuse: MSSAT completes 20 years

(caption for the above picture: Sir Mark Solomon, addressing the gathering on March 24, in Christchurch at the event marking 20 years of MSSAT)

About MSSAT:

"Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust (MSSAT) started in 1991 in Christchurch when a client asked his Counsellor how he could go about meetingother men who had experienced similar childhood trauma. Together they formed a support group and in 1997 members of that group registered MSSAT as a Charitable Trust.

In recent years MSSAT has been instrumental in the establishment of MSSAT Auckland and MSSAT Waikato who both operate as independent Trusts but with the same principles and objectives of MSSAT. Support groups for male survivors, their parents and partners are held in Nelson and Wellington.

All MSSAT organisations offer one to one, peer and group support for survivors and their significant others.  Group support and the validation from other men is very empowering for recovering survivors. As abuse usually takes place in isolation healing works well with others."

"I have story of child abuse in my family. In general, when such cases some up, the family is divided into three camps. First is those who are fighting for the victim, second is those fighting for the perpetrator, and third, and the worst of all, are those who want to brush everything under the carpet. I have chosen to be in the first camp. Never again, will I keep silent on these issues. With the worst statistics of family violence in the OECD, I feel ashamed to be a New Zealand male." - Sir Mark Solomon

 Ken Clearwater, manager at MSSAT and national advocate for male survivors of sexual abuse

"We really need men to be standing up and helping other men and boys. The only way to heal is if male victims share their emotions. We deal with age groups ranging from 6 to 70. We carry our own hurt so at times it's difficult to do this work." - Ken Clearwater

"The journey to become a survivor from being a victim is very important. And I can tell you from experience that it's difficult. While I am happy to be here at the 20th anniversary, I don't want to come to the 40th one. Let's change the society for better so that we don't need organisation such as MSSAT to help the victims." - Labour MP Ruth Dyson

"It takes courage to do what Sir Mark is doing, and come out against your own family members." - Minister Nicky Wagner

"I congratulate MSSAT on reaching this milestone." - Andrew Turner, Deputy Mayor, Christchurch