PRESS RELEASE 23.07.2018

Male Survivors Aotearoa publish new Quality Standards for organisations providing support services for male survivors of sexual violence

“These quality standards are designed to help organisations assure the quality of all support services (clinical and non-clinical) they offer to male survivors of sexual abuse and to recognise that the provision of those services will be most effective when they take account of the male-specific responses to trauma resulting from sexual violence’ says Philip Chapman, the Chair of Male Survivors Aotearoa.

“The standards are intended to encourage all service providers to pay special attention to the needs of their male clients. We know that male survivors often respond differently to female victims of sexual violence in the way they engage with support services. If we are to encourage men to come forward and seek help we must ensure that we offer services that give them confidence that their particular needs will be properly considered.”

The standards are based on the Quality Standards for supporting Male Survivors/Victims of Sexual Abuse developed for the Male Survivors Partnership UK. They expect service providers to meet four core quality standards, which together ensure that the specific needs of male clients have been considered within the service provider’s objectives, financial planning, policies and procedures including the training of staff.

1. Leadership & Governance

This standard ensures that the service provider can be held accountable by its clients and the commissioners and/or funders for the services and support it provides. This standard also recognises the particular obligations of New Zealand service providers to honour the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, which requires service providers to work in partnership with Maori.

2. Access & Engagement

This standard seeks to ensure that the service provider recognises the specific needs of male clients. Research indicates male survivors tend not to engage with support service providers in the same way that female victims/survivors do.

Male survivors may take longer to access support following their experiences of sexual violence and they make take several attempts to meaningfully engage with the service or its staff.

Additionally, service providers should also recognise that males represent a diverse group, rather than one homogenous group, that do not respond, engage or access services in the same way. Therefore service providers will require specific strategies to engage with marginalised groups in the communities they serve.

3. Service Delivery

Where support providers for male survivors do not pay special attention to the specific service needs of males, this can create significant challenges for males wishing to access support and may result in some males feeling their needs have not been taken into account.

Where services for male survivors have been added to existing services provided for female victims/survivors, special consideration should be given to the specific service support needs of males. The service delivery to clients should be based on the risk and needs of individual clients. All clients should have a choice about the gender of the professional supporting them, without a requirement to justify this decision.

4. Outcomes & Evaluation

This standard relates to outcomes, evaluation and the ability of the service to meet the needs of male clients. This can be done through a variety of methods including routine data collection, service support outcomes evaluation and client feedback and service review and improvement.

Monitoring the service provider’s ability to meet the client’s needs will be important for the service commissioner and/or funder, the service and its staff and importantly for the client himself. Commissioners and/or funders will want to be assured that the service provided is effective to meet the needs of the local population, does not unnecessarily replicate other services and provides value for money.

Service providers will want to monitor outcomes to ensure that they are performing as well as possible to meet the needs of their client groups. Individual male clients will benefit from tracking their own progress throughout their journey of support. Many males report feeling empowered by being able to see how far they have come in their healing and recovery.

For more information about these standards please refer to:
Peer Support Practice Guidelines (PDF)