From the Executive Director's Desk



Everyone, survivor or not, has a story to share. Sharing of stories can be seen as the essence of healthy human interaction. From playground boasts to stirring eulogies stories help us put experience into context and connects us to one another. MaleSurvivor gives survivors and our loved ones many opportunities to share our stories, because we think breaking our silence is a key to healing. On our website discussion forums, at our Weekends of Recovery, and at the special events we host, sexually abused men find places to speak and to be heard, often for the first time in their lives. But what is it about sharing our stories that is so important?



I'd like to share an idea, one that might be counter-intuitive. While most of us know how important the act of telling one's story is for a survivor, many people may be less appreciative of how important it is to be heard, witnessed, and supported in the process. The role of the listener in healing is what I want to focus on here.




Listening is one of the most important - and underappreciated - keys to helping people heal. Healthy social connection is a basic human need. And recent studies have confirmed earlier findings that adverse childhood experiences of abuse, trauma, and neglect can lead arrested brain development and are a significant risk factor for a wide array of psychological disorders. Listening fosters connection and breaks our isolation. Being heard, whether it's by a trained therapist, a loved one, or even just a random person in an elevator, creates a sense of belonging and worth that is itself a necessary element for health.


Perhaps just as important, listening can be a tool for prevention of abuse. Many perpetrators learn to take advantage of people who feel disconnected and unheard. Indeed, studies of serial perpetrators by Dr. Anna Salter and others reveal that abusers often seek out vulnerable children, often children without strong and healthy parental relationships. These children are more easily manipulated and groomed with a minimum of effort.  Oftentimes a survivor can struggle with feelings of loyalty to the person who abused them because the abuser may have been one of the few who showed them any kindness and attention at all. In addition, the right response by a caregiver when a child begins to disclose that they may have been abused can make all the difference in the world.  The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, says, "children who are listened to and understood do much better than those who are not. The response to the disclosure of sexual abuse is critical to the child's ability to resolve and heal the trauma of sexual abuse."  


Unfortunately, many survivors either did not have someone to tell, or were not heard if they did try to tell. In addition, many men abused as adults can feel an even greater sense stigma and shame that silences them. So listening to adult survivors is just as important. When we give our attention to a survivor's story, we give them validation that creates an opportunity for healing. Listening with empathy and without judgment shows a survivor that who they are and what they have survived are worthy of our attention.  


It can be scary, perhaps even painful, to listen to a survivor. However, giving them your attention can make all the difference in the world to a survivor. Every time a survivor can speak openly about their past a little bit of the shame they carry flakes away, revealing the truth of who they really are. Whenever a survivor shares their story with me, I always make a point to honor them for their courage, and thank them for the gift they have given me in trusting me enough to share their story with me. Sometimes all a survivor needs to start the work of healing is the knowledge that we have been heard.


Do you have a story about what it felt like to tell your story the first time that you'd like to share? Post it on our FacebookLike us on Facebook and TwitterFollow us on Twitter pages.



A Special Message about Fundraising and MaleSurvivor's Future 


Historically, MaleSurvivor has relied on membership support and service charges to fund our work. However, in order to ensure our continued growth we can no longer rely on those sources of funding alone. We are actively pursuing opportunities to expand our ability to improve survivors' lives. In order to get to the next level we are seeking support from corporate foundations, government agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private donors with whom we can partner to bring hope, healing, and support to more survivors than ever. If you have contacts with such groups and are willing to help please let us know by emailing me


As we look for partnerships and support outside our traditional funding streams, we want to stress that our first priority will always be finding ways to support the healing of survivors and promote the prevention of all forms of sexual victimization. As we look to find ways to bring in partners who can help us expand, we remain committed to listening to your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns and will always honor the need for privacy many survivors feel when they engage in the work of healing.


Have any thoughts or questions you'd like to share with me? Drop me a line at 

3 Faces
Hope. Healing. Support. 
Upcoming Weekends of Recovery
The Amazing WoR Facilitator team all together in Alta!

Weekends now open for registration! 

Scholarships are available for survivors requiring financial assistance to attend!


Future Weekends 



August 16 - 18      Advanced

Alta Lodge (Alta, UT)


September 20 - 22   Level 1

Alta Lodge (Alta, UT)


October 18 - 20        Level 1

Hope Springs (Peebles, OH)

More information on our Weekends of Recovery program is available here.

Please consider making a donation to help fund scholarships so more men can attend a weekend!


Dr. Howard Fradkin will send you a SIGNED copy of his new book,
Joining Forces, if you donate $150 or more to MaleSurvivor TODAY! 


MaleSurvivor is now on YouTube!
What Is MaleSurvivor?
What Is MaleSurvivor?

MaleSurvivor Training and Awareness Programs

MaleSurvivor provides training for professionals, organizations, schools, and community groups. Our clinicians and survivor advocates have done trainings at many institutions, including Penn State. We can help your staff better understanding how to support male survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. 
MaleSurvivor partners with local support groups to bring awareness events into communities to help survivors "Dare to Dream" that they can find the hope and support they need to heal. 

For information on how to bring a MaleSurvivor training or Dare to Dream event to your community, please contact Community Outreach Director Trisha Massa at 

To reach a spokesperson for MaleSurvivor, please contact Curtis St. John at
(914) 481-2930 or 

MaleSurvivor is an officially recognized CFC charity. Federal employees can direct payroll donations be made to MaleSurvivor by using CFC code 32750

4768 Broadway #527

New York, NY 10034 


MaleSurvior (, the pre-eminent resource for male victims of sexual abuse and their loved ones, 

is committed to preventing, healing, and eliminating all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men through 

support, treatment, research, education, advocacy, and activism. 


Find us on Facebook                      Follow us on Twitter

Current research suggests that over 1 in 6 males have been the victims of sexual abuse at some point in their lives. Founded in 1994, Malesurvivor has helped hundreds of thousands of survivors and their loved ones 

begin healing journeys and repair their lives. Please consider making a donation today.


MaleSurvivor is a volunteer run 501(c)3 organization and all donations are recognized as deductible on US tax returns.   


Hope. Healing. Support.