Local & National news

A vital resource to support male survivors of child sexual abuse 

By Sharon Lockwood, Survivor Advocate

The effects of child sexual abuse can make male survivors feel isolated and distanced from others. Speaking about the abuse and its effects takes courage, and people in the survivor’s support network often want to be able to help but may feel uncertain about the best way to do this.

The Survivors & Mates Support Network (SAMSN) was established by a small group of male survivors in 2010 who were looking to have their support needs met in a group setting.

As there were no such groups in existence at that time, they decided to create their own, and SAMSN has since grown into an organisation offering support to survivors via groups and workshops held across New South Wales, the ACT, and here in South Australia.

On Saturday 9 April SAMSN will offer their one-day Supporters and Survivors workshop in Adelaide.

The SAMSN Supporters and Survivors one day workshop provides an opportunity for survivors and their family and friends to meet in a safe space where they can understand more about the nature and dynamics of sexual abuse, the ripple effects of abuse and the recovery process.

The workshop provides an opportunity for participants to reduce the isolating effects of abuse by sharing some of the issues they have commonly faced and build stronger, more supportive relationships which will facilitate healing from the effects of the abuse. The workshop is facilitated by SAMSN staff who are both professionals and those with lived experience.

The event follows last year’s successful SAMSN Survivors and Supporters workshop held in Adelaide.

“We started the day with several of the participants unable to even look at or talk to anyone. At the end of the workshop these same people were smiling and laughing and swapping numbers as they left,” said Craig Hughes-Cashmore, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at SAMSN.

“It was another clear reminder that it is such a privilege to do this work and so rewarding. There was a lot of pain expressed but wonderful insights gained, and connections made, and I have to say from my perspective, it was the most powerful experience I have had with SAMSN.”

If you would like to attend the Survivors and Supporters workshop, you can register the Eventbrite here.

More information about SAMSN can be found on their website.

If any survivors of child sexual abuse and their supporters would like more information about their support options, please see the contact details for the Survivor Advocate for the Diocese of Adelaide, Sharon Lockwood, on the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide website.