MaleSurvivor discussion board and chat is here to provide additional help and healing for male survivors and their loved ones. The site must be a safe place for survivors to work on their healing. It is not therapy but an adjunct for the healing that comes about from learning, reading, healing experiences, support from friends and family, and from professionals who can provide the guidance and safety that enables victims to become survivors and beyond.
Although we do our best to ensure that there will be little or no exploitation, abuse, or fraud here, we are primarily dealing in a medium where anyone can be anything s/he purports to be. We hope we can spot the obvious deceivers and users of other people, but we are only human and know only what we know. We try to respond to the concerns raised by members here and take action to remove/edit posts that are offensive or flaming. We also try our best to prevent members from putting themselves in vulnerable positions by giving out personal information.
When someone comes here as a survivor and acknowledges abusive behaviors in the past, it is not always a clear-cut case of simply banning that person. What about those who acted out sexually as children or teens? What about someone who sexually abused a child as an adult but has been in treatment for sexual abusing or comes here 20-30 years after acting out sexually to heal his childhood victimization issues?
It is difficult to make a blanket policy although some may feel a total ban on anyone who has abused another (regardless of when or how it occurred) is appropriate for all. Others may have different feelings or opinions of this.
If anyone suspects another member of perpetrator behavior or inappropriate comments, we ask that you pm a mod to report the post or actions. We will check out the posting and make a decision on a case-by-case basis.
The mods here have been discussing the status of one member who disclosed an abusing past. We have received numerous private messages as well as seen posts from those who want the person banished from this site or conversely, point out that inclusion of this person provides healing opportunities for survivors.
There is validity in both positions as well as opinions expressed by others. While there may be security in a blanket policy, the mods also note that flexibility on a case by case position can be beneficial for many as well.
Ultimately, safety is important here and we understand that even if it might be helpful for many to hear from someone who has offended, it does no good for those who feel too unsafe to stay in this forum.
Therefore, we want to invite those who left due to feeling unsafe with a self-described survivor who became an abuser here, to return.
We are offering Ranger the opportunity to use what he has heard here about how much damage child sexual abuse can do on a long term basis in his offender treatment. Rather than totally ban him, we believe this place has some benefit for his continued healing as a survivor and as an offender.
He may post only in At Risk and I hope to be in touch with his offender treatment therapist to be sure that he is addressing the issues to both ensure that he will not likely abuse again and can heal his victimization issues (which likely played a role in his abuse of the young man).
While this may not satisfy some, we believe that treatment for abusers, particularly as long as they are not incarcerated for life, means that the professional community has a responsibility to address the issues that contribute to the possibility of re-offending.
Ultimately, prevention of sexual abuse means treating known abusers so they are less likely to abuse again, as well as identifying and helping those who are struggling with the thoughts and impulses to abuse in the first place. (This is why we support StopItNow which seeks to intervene with potential abusers BEFORE they abuse.)
Prevention is something that MaleSurvivor and many other organizations fully support. It means teaching children and vulnerable adults to say no, know where to go for help should they be approached, and tell if someone has done something to them. It also means treating child victims because those without proper treatment have a greater chance of going on to become abusers later on. (Again, we are not saying that being abused makes one a potential abuser. It is a risk factor just like driving under the influence of alcohol increases your chances of getting into an accident.)
It also means helping survivors heal and grow so they can have better, more productive lives.
So, what we are saying is that survivors' needs come first and because the sense of safety is so important, we will not sacrifice safety for the rights of an individual.
Ken Singer, LCSW
Supervisor of moderators,
MaleSurvivor Board of Directors
Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse