Get to know us
To build a support network that gives voice and agency to male survivors and their supporters.
Male survivors of childhood sexual abuse can recover, support others to thrive and be leaders for change.
Survivors & Mates Support Network was founded in 2010 by a small group of male survivors, who were searching for a support group to meet other male survivors and deal with the effects of child sexual abuse on their lives. Unable to find such a group, they started SAMSN.
Working alongside professional counsellors with experience in working with male survivors, they commenced an eight-week group program for men. This professionally facilitated peer support group program provided a much-needed safe space for men and was, and is still, in great demand. These groups have provided a place for men to come together to meet other male survivors and find support, understanding and learning about child sexual abuse, its far-reaching impacts, and very importantly what helps in recovery and healing.
Since 2011 SAMSN has run over 60 groups across Sydney, some regional NSW centres, in Adelaide and Canberra.
SAMSN’s growing understanding of these impacts for men, the needs of male survivors, and what helps recovery has led to SAMSN establishing ongoing, professionally facilitated monthly meetings in a number of locations so that men have a safe environment to continue to have peer support in their recovery journey.
SAMSN has also recognised that the trauma effects of abuse can make negotiating life’s challenges even more difficult. In 2014 SAMSN was able to employ professional staff to provide individual planned support to men and their supporters. This support includes working alongside survivors negotiating the criminal justice system or seeking redress or compensation, accessing Centrelink or housing services, or finding a suitable counsellor.
The value of peer support has also been incorporated into our work with peer support workers available to walk alongside survivors as well as our planned support team.
We are proud to see the network continues to grow. In 2019 we were able to begin outreach out to male survivors in more regional areas of NSW and beyond, and particularly our Aboriginal and Torres Strait male survivors to expand our work with the families and friends of survivors.