Abused males want royal commission

A Dunedin man is one of more than 100 male sexual abuse survivors calling on the Government to open a royal commission into the historical sexual abuse of children.

The South-South Institute’s the third conference, organised by the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa, is running in Christchurch this week.

Dunedin man and sexual abuse survivor Darryl Smith is one of about 100 sexual abuse survivors attending the conference who support a royal commission into historic sexual abuse.

Mr Smith spent more than a decade in state care, in both New Zealand and Australia, beginning when he was 7 in the early 1970s.

It is likely a call for the Government to open a royal commission into historical sexual abuse cases, both in state care and other institutions, will be made during the conference.

Mr Smith said he and fellow survivors had already made their views clear at a survivor-only day on Sunday.

“As survivors we were asked what we wanted as an outcome and we were all on the same page that we wanted a royal commission, so people can be made accountable.”

The Labour Party has pledged to set up an inquiry into abuse of children in state care within its first 100 days in government.

Read the full article on the Otago Daily Times here >>

Former FBI agent and Criminal Minds writer speaking at Christchurch sexual abuse conference

A retired FBI agent who advises and writes for American TV programmes including Criminal Minds is to speak in Christchurch next month.

Jim Clemente, a globally recognised expert in sex crimes, child sexual victimisation and child abduction/homicide, is one of about 30 speakers from New Zealand and around the world who will talk at a conference organised by the Christchurch-based Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa.

The conference, which will run from November 5-10, will be the third gathering of the South-South Institute – an international partnership involving the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa and the Refugee Law Project, Men of Peace and Men of Hope organisations in Uganda; and the First Step organisation in Cambodia.

Read the full article on the NZHerald here >>

FBI agent fights for sexually abused kids

A retired FBI agent has dedicated his career fighting for children who have been sexually abused, and sadly he knows all too well what they’re going through.

Jim Clemente, a former New York City prosecutor, is in Christchurch to share his story on sexual abuse, and his experience which led him to get justice for others.

He is a guest speaker at the South-South Institute’s Building Bridges International Conference about male survivors of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse statistics in New Zealand say that one in three girls will be abused, and one in seven boys, but unfortunately Mr Clemente knows that’s not the true number.

Read the full article here >>

Male sexual abuse survivors conference to ‘take lid off can of worms and throw it away’

When Ken Clearwater was admitted to a psychiatric emergency ward after threatening to kill a man over a game of pool, he knew he needed help to deal with a secret he’d been carrying for decades.

He had been raped as a child.

Clearwater, 38 years old at the time of the outburst, had spiralled into a deep depression fuelled by drugs, alcohol, gangs and a whole lot of violence.

“Drugs and alcohol is a survival mechanism, it helps to numb the brain so we don’t have to deal with stuff going round and round in our heads,” he says.

“As males, we’re supposed to be staunch and tough. We’re not allowed to talk about things, share our feelings or else it’s seen as weak.”

Read the full article on the NZ Herald here >>

The Bristlecone Project expected to help survivors come forward

An installation telling the stories of male survivors of sexual abuse is expected to help other men open up about their own trauma.

The Bristlecone Project exhibition, featuring black-and-white photographs of 24 New Zealand men abused in childhood, opens at Canterbury Museum on Monday.

“People have been trying to hide this for so long, and now it’s going to be in the public’s face,” said Ken Clearwater, manager of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust.

“We’re taking the lid off a can of worms and throwing the lid away. We’ve been carrying this shame and guilt for so long, it’s time people understand the damage it does.”

Read the full article on stuff.co.nz here >>

New figures on sexual abuse prompt renewed calls for inquiry

A group working with men who have been sexually abused says any inquiry into abuse needs to go beyond just that in boys’ homes.  

ACC says between 2012 and 2016 there was an almost 90 per cent increase in new sensitive claims lodged for male victims of sexual abuse.

The Labour party has pledged to set up an inquiry into abuse of children in state care within its first 100 days in government. 

Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Trauma Trust manager Ken Clearwater welcomed the move, but told Nine to Noon‘s Kathryn Ryan it needed to cover every institution in the country. 

Listen / Read to the full article on Radio New Zealand here >>


From the Chairman’s desk, August 2017

Kia ora

Welcome to the new web presence of the Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust Aotearoa NZ (MSSAT Aotearoa).

MSSAT Aotearoa has now been in existence for three years. With the overall aim of ensuring survivors experience safety and respect throughout their journey, MSSAT Aotearoa has made considerable progress. What has been achieved during this relatively short time is commendable and includes:

  • Ongoing development of a cohesive and functioning national organisation with national policies and protocols to enable and support regional activities.
  • Development of a sound relationship with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) where we finally have ongoing involvement in decision making. We are thrilled that the voice of survivors is being heard and acted on at this level.
  • Finalising realistic funding contracts with MSD at both national and regional levels, notably the securement of funding for this and the next financial year.
  • The creation and embedding of Ken Clearwater’s role as the National Survivor Advocate.
  • The implementation of a shared case management system – PAUA, which will support operations and enable operational reporting for future funding.
  • The estblishment of a qualifications framework and commencement of training for peer support workers.

We can rightly feel proud of these achievements. However I am aware that more work is required to:

  • Develop a sound evidence base for our peer support work and devleoping best practice protocols for supporting male survivors of sexual abuse. The upcoming international conference ‘Building Bridges’ to be held in Christchurch in November this year is a major achievement in this area as are our plans to pursue research opportunities as they arise.
  • Increase awareness of, and access to, our regional services and ensure that we have adequate funding to support a national network of quality support services.
  • Extend our support for the sustainable growth of our regional centres and identify vialble opportunities for development in those regions not currently providing services.

The future looks very positive and I would like to thank all those who have been involved in getting us to this point.

Best wishes

Philip Chapman