Canadian Centre for Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (cc4ms)
Our Story Why We Exist
1 in 6 men - or more - has been a victim of childhood sexual abuse before the age of 18. For women, it’s 1 in 3 before the age of 18. There are 323 assault centres in Canada, primarily for women and children.
For men? There are four (4) dedicated treatment centres - Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal – therefore, none on the prairies nor in the northern territories. These four centres provide excellent service but are unable to fulfill the demand. Most survivors, therefore, are left to dull their pain and shame through addictions - substance abuse, gambling, sex, violence and work. Many men simply try to forget the rape because they are told in many ways to ‘get over it’.
Survivors of this childhood trauma also have to cope with the devastating effects of betrayal because, in 94% of the cases, it was someone the children knew and trusted who raped and traumatized them. As a result, most survivors don’t disclose the crime for 20 years during which time the pain leads to depression, anger, anxiety, sleeplessness, homelessness and often, suicide.
Before healing can start, disclosure must happen. Before disclosure can happen, a survivor must realize that healing is possible and that he can access it. He needs to know that there are people, including professionals, who are eager and able to help him recover.
Our Impact What We Do
Since the spring of 2012, cc4ms has operated as a referral agency. This is accomplished by responding to male survivors who contacted us (generally through emails from our website) wanting to know where to go for treatment and connecting them with our specially selected therapists.
cc4ms’ therapists are independent professionals (registered psychologists and social workers) who have had experience in this area and wish to improve their treatment skills. As well, they have agreed to help us build a world-class dedicated treatment centre here in Calgary. In May 2015, we organized our first annual Bringing Healing! Treatment Training Seminar which 20 therapists attended. Sessions were led by two of the founders who have created three of the four dedicated treatment centres. Currently, we are working with nine therapists (six females/three males) and recruiting even more. We also intend to establish standards and qualification for therapists working in this area.
As well, we have partnered with twelve well-respected community organizations such as Southern Alberta HIV Clinic, AIDS Calgary, Simon House, Fresh START, 1835, John Howard Society, Jewish Family Services, of Calgary, the Distress Centre, Calgary Police Service as well as the Wellness Centres of our three post-secondary institutions. These partners are experts in their fields but trust cc4ms to help their survivors.
Evidence-based holistic programs are being developed and clients are evaluated both before and during treatment to ensure they are receiving appropriate and effective therapy.
Protocols and outcomes are determined by our Clinical Care Coordinator in conjunction with our Treatment Advisory Council (TAC) composed of multidisciplinary practitioners familiar with childhood sexual assault, therapy and trauma informed practices as they pertain to men. These protocols are male-centric. Our Clinical Care Coordinator is responsible for liaising with survivors and our partner agencies.
Incidentally, cc4ms covers the cost of therapy sessions if necessary and usually it is necessary to do so.
We focus on the issue so as to smash the silence overcome the stigma which has long discouraged survivors from speaking out and/or seeking help. By making survivors and others aware of treatment, more will seek help; thus, a safer and more productive community.
Mission Statement: Our mission is to improve the lives of adult male survivors of child sexual abuse through treatment, public education, research and advocacy.
Vision Statement: Our vision is to be the leading treatment center in Canada helping male survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
- To promote good health through counseling and support programs, including financial support.
- To advance the education of the public and professionals working with AMS of CSA about the prevention of, and responses to, child sexual abuse by offering information, resources, seminars, conferences, concerts and through our website which is updated frequently.
- To initiate, collect and disseminate research on AMS of CSA.
Our program centers around the model we call H-E-A-R! - Healing, Education, Advocacy & Research.
- Healing: Healing is definitely possible for most survivors and should be achieved with trained professionals. Furthermore, we recognize that healing takes different paths and lengths of time so we are client sensitive.
- Education: Bringing awareness of this situation, that 1 in 6 of Canadian men under the age of 18 has been sexually abused, is an important step towards healing and greater understanding leading to support.
- Advocacy: Generally, male survivors have been left to advocate for themselves. We will work with other groups in this field so that survivors have a strong, clear voice. As well, we will advocate that offenders are more appropriately handled in the light of this very serious crime and the lack of rehabilitation prospects.
- Research: Very little research has been produced in Canada concerning AMS of CSA - or indeed, child sexual abuse. We will work with academic institutions and governments to distribute the latest research and encourage further studies.
By addressing these four issues, cc4ms will aid in the prevention of crime and tragedy of childhood sexual abuse while helping adult male survivors to heal and thrive.
Our Programs How We Do It
By partnering with addiction agencies, wellness centres at post-secondary institutions, mental health organizations and social agencies, cc4ms provides their clients with treatment. Through increased awareness in emergency rooms and locker rooms, in doctors’ offices and corporate offices, in churches and unions and elsewhere through a public awareness campaign, individual survivors and others will be made aware that healing is possible. Much of this marketing initiative has been made available by the generosity of the Calgary Foundation for which survivors, their family and friends and cc4ms are very grateful.
All survivors communicate with our Clinical Care Coordinator who chooses the best therapist for them based on a number of criteria – male or female therapist; location in the city; type of therapy, etc.
Survivors receive counseling, both on an individual and group basis – 10 individual sessions and then 20 group sessions with frequent reviews to determine progress using a variety of established tests. Adjustments to this protocol are possible as determined by our Clinical Care Coordinator and the relevant therapist. Our Clinical Care Coordinator is also responsible for liaising with the therapists, monitoring their performance and organizing the annual Bringing Healing! Treatment Training Seminars.
By establishing partnerships with academic institutions and governments, we will enhance the access to evidence-based information, strategies and solutions and generate new knowledge for dissemination. Additionally, we will provide students studying medicine, social work and psychology with information and encouragement to pursue studies and careers in this area. Members of the TAC plus our Clinical Care Coordinator and CEO lead this initiative.
By partnering with foundations, corporations, individuals and governments concerned about health and specifically mental health we will spread the message, coordinate efforts and access funds to alleviate the suffering and damage to families and the economy.
One of our public outreach programs, Magnificent Men! Leadership Lunch series, has impacted approximately 2700 Calgarians directly and another 2000 indirectly. Our keynote speakers are men who achieved exceptional success in their business life and also in their community life. How do they do it? Come and learn how!
On November 14th, 2015, Sean McCann, formerly of the Great Big Sea, will be featured in our Celebrating Survivors! event. McCann will sing and speak about his abuse and future. Everyone is welcome!!
Through education, health care professionals, law enforcement officers, governments and the public regarding this long ignored tragedy, new treatments, better outcomes and more resources will occur, thanks to the dedication and leadership of the cc4ms team of professionals and volunteers – and our supporters.
By crashing the silence and crushing the stigma, together we will encourage disclosures and provide healing and understanding for adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. A better life for many is on the horizon!
Our Requests What You Can Do
You can assist us in so many ways!!!
If a man discloses to you that he is a victim of childhood sexual abuse or you suspect this might be the case, remember you are not alone in supporting him. Together or individually, please contact our Clinical Care Coordinator, Bonnie Heidebrecht, 403-519-9727 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, please review our website: www.cc4ms.ca for additional resources.
Join us at our Magnificent Men! Leadership Lunch series. We have been honored to have champions of business, sports and the community speak - Ken Dryden, O.C., hockey icon; Hon. Jack Major, former Supreme Court Justice; Grant Bartlett, President & CEO, TerraMer, and Peter Mansbridge, O.C., Journalist, CBC. Click here for details regarding our next MM!LL. Please come! Bring guests! Help us with theses lunches!
Share the news! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share our posts. In doing so you are demonstrating that you support survivors and cc4ms, that you believe healing is possible. Show that you are willing to crash the silence and crush the stigma so that more survivors will come forward.
Help support survivors! In order for us to continue healing survivors, we require your financial assistance. More therapists are needed. More training of therapists is needed and a savvy and extensive marketing initiative is also needed. Please donate to cc4ms so we may continue to provide treatment and support; to provide information and inspiration; and crash the silence and crush the stigma.
Here’s to Hope.Healing & Happiness! Thank you!