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#6515 - 09/20/02 06:08 PM NOMSV
factsperson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 17
Hi to all,

I feel that the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization should be exclusively for males who are victims or surviviors. Yet, understand that at least several of the the therapists who are associated with NOMSV treat perpertrators or offenders or abusers.I feel that this is incompatible with what NOMSV should be about, an organization that helps/represents victims or survivors. By having therapists associated with NOMSV, and part of NOMSV, treating abusers it takes away from the pain and anguish and loss of personal life and freedom and financial problems that the victims have as the result of abuse. Since the vast majority of victims never turn into abusers and since this shows a difference in the personality and morals of victims as being someone who would never do what someone did to them and since abusers ignore this and proceed with the evil they inflict, treating abusers is incongrouous with what NOMSV is about. In many states abusers are considered criminals.

I, and I assume others who read this, will agree that NOMSV policy should be changed to have therapists associated with NOMSV and part of NOMSV not treating offenders.

An answer is requested that can confirm this or explain the situation to NOMSV people.

Thank you.

#6516 - 09/20/02 07:15 PM Re: NOMSV
Don-NY Offline

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY

This is a difficult issue and a personal one for me because my therapist has treated offenders. He may still be treating them, but this is something I do not know for sure and don't really want to know right now.

The NOMSV Mission Statement:
Dedicated to a safe world, we are an organization of diverse individuals committed through research, education, advocacy, and activism to the prevention, treatment and elimination of all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men.
If the treatment and research of offenders can prevent one boy or man from being victimized, then I must support the people who have the stomach to deal with them.

If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

#6517 - 09/20/02 07:41 PM Re: NOMSV
asher Offline

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 19
Loc: St. Louis
If we are going to end sexual victimization, every side of the equation --- the offenders and the victims --- must have access to treatment. I agree that our abusers belong behind bars; however, you and I know that almost all sexual abusers eventually are released. I'd rather the abusers have access to skilled therapists than be sent out in the world alone, ready to abuse again.

NOMSV should be open to all therapists who are dedicated to stopping the cycle of abuse.


#6518 - 09/20/02 08:49 PM Re: NOMSV
Roy Offline

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
I strongly disagree with your belief that therapists who treat offenders should be excluded from NOMSV. It would be easy to consider all abusers as the personification of evil on earth but the issue is not that simple. Of course, some of these people are sociopaths who will always be dangerous to society and they should be incarcerated. But that is not the case with all people who commit sexual offenses. Many of these offenders are suffering from various mental illnesses and are as entitled to compassionate treatment, the same as you and I, no matter how uncomfortable that feels. For me to completely villify the man who raped me is to keep myself perpetually locked in victimhood.

#6519 - 09/20/02 11:20 PM Re: NOMSV
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I'm sorry to say you appear to have the wrong idea of this forum, it isn't online therapy.

The people and professionals who use this forum do so for support and the exchange of views, opinions and ideas about our recovery from our abuse, this is no alternative to therapy.

Nobody here has any sympathy for abusers, and they wouldn't be welcome here. And most of the survivors here could detect an abuser who came here for whatever reason instantly.
This IS a safe place.

I am the moderator of this forum and I believe in what I do here passionately, but if you look at the bottom of my post you'll see I live in England and have no other connection with this site other than this keyboard I sit behind.
I don't know what the proffesionals who created this organization do in their fields, whether they treat perpetrators or not. Maybe you know the details, I don't.
But if they do it's for a reason, and that's between the therapist and the client.
But to understand the reasons why abuse takes place someone needs to deal with them, and if that person also deals with the survivors then the level of understanding can only be enhanced.

You are absolutely right that the majority of those of us who were abused dont go on to abuse, but we do go on to ruined lives. We become shells of the people we should be, we act out, get addicted to drink, drugs and sex, we can't live as other people do until we get help.
And my own experience tells me that the forces that ruined me are very much the same that drive abusers to abuse, it's a fine line that thankfully few victims of abuse cross.

Whether abusers can be treated or not is very debatable, but I firmly believe that every opportunity should be taken to learn from their experiences so we can protect future generations.

You obviously have strong views about this, and I respect that, but if you come here as a victim who wants to become a survivor you have come to a good safe place, the people here are are an incredible bunch of guys, partners and professionals who have one aim, to support each other through recovery.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#6520 - 09/21/02 07:25 PM Re: NOMSV
factsperson Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 17

Thank all of you for posting back to me, I appreciate all your responses.

However ,the record has to be set straight. Abusers only admit to what they did if they are caught red-handed. Then and only then do they have therapy and it is forced on them.

As far as I know therapists are not able to get an abuser to stop. And if they do it is because the state or federal or city or whatever government tries to enforce it, not because the therapist cured them or healed them or conviced them to stop. I do not know of one case where an abuser was cured. (maybe NOMSV would like to comment on that).

Think about it-have you been cured or healed by your therapist or have you just alleviated your symptoms (which is good of course and especially if that is all you want but there is no cure to date for people who have been sexually abused-just be honest with yourself within the quiet safe place of your mind and you will realize this). So, how can therapists possibly cure abusers who will stop?

Those are the facts, sad as they are, so since they are true then why should therapists even treat them unless they have to. And what would a therapist learn from treating an abuser that will help his victim patients? I don't see anything.

Comments based upon facts and experience are welcome.

#6521 - 09/21/02 09:21 PM Re: NOMSV
MrDon Offline

Registered: 01/08/01
Posts: 957
Loc: Deltona, FL
Personally, I couldn't even think about working with an abuser or perp. They make my skin crawl and I would most likely end up in prison for what I would do to them.

One time I met a lady that was working with perps to rehabilitate them and she was a survivor herself. I asked her a question she was asked often, how can you do this? Her response was that there were a hundred victims for every perp (which seems sort of high to me but that is what she told me). She then went on to say that if I can make a differance in at least one perp and get them to stop what they do, than I will have helped a lot of victims/potential victims. I do applaud this lady for having the courage to do what she does and personally I feel it is needed (but I'm not the person for that job).

I can't say what is right and wrong for everyone but I don't necessarily agree with "either/or" scenarios either. To me if someone was working to rehabilitate abusers, than they need a heck of a lot of support as well because it would really have to play hard on your mind to even consider doing this type of work.

Just not sure though that one size fits all.


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The Mind Body Thoughts Blog

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#6522 - 09/22/02 01:54 AM Re: NOMSV
Thad Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 08/28/01
Posts: 1752
Loc: Oakland, CA
I think its time to put it all on the table. In my opinion:

1) This post sounds too much like an angry person who was banned for his aggressive and manipulative behavior. He has joined right after the banning, has made no introduction of himself, and launched right into this stupid issue calculated to cause trouble.
2) This issue is divisive and a waste of our time it is ridiculous to demand therapists who treat abusers to not belong to NOMSV
3) This post a poorly vailed attack on NOMSV by someone with an axe to grind against NOMSV and therapists. It undermines our sources of help and community. It is also too similar to previous posts attacking NOMSV by the banned person.
4) The companion post in another forum demanding a response is insulting
5) The person who posted this is abusive to all of us who come here to be safe from abuse
6) His behavior is triggering and makes my skin crawl. If he continues to disrespect his 30-day ban he should be ignored, his posts removed as quickly as possible and he should be permanently banned.

In short I am fed up with dealing with this, having tried to help, only to be made to feel unsafe by his behavior. I can only hope that he can reflect on his abusive/manipulative behavior and the consequential loss to him of the good will, caring friendship and support he has received from the survivors here.

"..this place isn't a discussion's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.

#6523 - 09/22/02 02:18 AM Re: NOMSV
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
Thad my reaction was very similar. I thought, where is this person
coming from. I'm ignorant of other incidents you are referring to.
My first reaction to the post was, this is devisive. Who is dictating
who a therapist should see as a client. Are we blacklisting
therapists here? Who made who pope? Is McCarthyism back in
another form?

I hear rage in the post. I have no doubt the rage is justified, but the target is someone who is trying to be helpful. It is a less than honest rage.

I've been there many times too, and I could be there again tomorrow. I hope someone will lovingly bring it to my attention again.

One day at a time.

There are many ways to be a perpetrator to a victim, and it is not always sexual. In my pain I was a withdrawn father, friend, and husband. This defense of mine caused a great deal of pain in those I cared for. The adults around me could deal with the pain and fend for themselves and confront me if need be. I'm the only Daddy my daughters had and my emotional abandonment was excrutiating for them.

------------ be gentle with yourselves
------------------------ RJD

#6524 - 09/23/02 02:29 PM Re: NOMSV
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
I guess I am the person who "Factperson" is complaining about. This is Ken Singer, past president of NOMSV. My more complete background is in the bio info on the Board page.

I choose to work with sexual abusers because most can be treated to prevent future abusive behavior. We in the abuser treatment field do not talk about "cure". We can help people recognize that there are always precursors to their behaviors. If they learn to recognize thoughts and feelings that can lead to sexual abuse, they can learn to take other measures and not hurt others. They choose to sexually abuse. They can choose to not do so in the future. While the comment about abusers having 100 victims is not quite accurate, it is often true that some chronic and truly dangerous individuals have many victims. Others may have only one---- which, obviously is one too many.

I choose to work with survivors of sexual abuse because I can help allieviate the symptoms and help them recover from the abuse they never asked for or wanted. The knowledge I have from working with abusers can be useful in survivors' recovery. Last week, I spoke at a conference in which about a third of the audience was male survivors. When I said that abusers of males will sometimes use the "evidence" of the boy's arousal (i.e., an erection) as "proof" that the boy wanted the sexual contact or was gay, several of the men spoke up that they had that experience and no one ever told them that it is something that perpetrators may use as a justification. That can be so much more healing than just repeating that the abuse "was not your fault". Knowledge is power. Recovery is about becoming empowered.

The more I learn from and about abusers, the more I can help survivors.

In my work with abusers, I can let them know of the long term effects of their abuse on others. When I work with an abuser who minimizes the damage he has done or dismisses it with a comment like, "He's probably forgotten all about it" or "I heard he was doing ok", I can talk with authority on the effects of sexual victimization from my work with survivors. Empathy, the ability to understand what another person is feeling or going through, is the greatest deterrent to hurting someone else. When abusers learn to become more empathetic, they are less likely to abuse again. Research has proven that sex offense-specific treatment significantly reduces recidivism/reoffending. If it did not work, I couldn't work with this population.

I encourage new professionals in either field, working with just survivors or abusers, to learn more about the other population. It doesn't mean that survivor therapists should work with abusers if they don't have the interest or "stomach" to do so, or vice versa. But it means they should go to conferences and workshops to learn more.

Finally, I want to stress that I do this work, whether with abusers or survivors, for the goal of preventing and eliminating sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. Treatment is part of prevention, whether it is for a child who MIGHT become a substance abuser, self-mutilator, unhappy/depressed individual, over-eater, or other consequences of abuse, including a perpetrator of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Treatment is part of preventing further sexual abuse by those who have become perpetrators.

I do not know what "Factperson" is looking for. It appears that rather than being divisive, if that was his intent, he has brought a number of people around the issue and I am gratified that so many of you understand that abusers need treatment as well.

I am willing to respond to other questions or concerns about abuser treatment.

Ken Singer
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

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