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Merger of Canterbury Mens Centre and Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust

Thursday, April 26, 2018   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: Community Groups, services, men, mens health, violence, abuse

As from 1st May 2018, the services previously offered by MSSAT Christchurch will available from the Canterbury Men's Centre (CMC) - located in Gloucester Street. This strategic merger will maintain the existing services offered to MSSAT clients but also expands the range of other services available to support male survivors in Christchurch.

Message from Chair MSSAT Christchurch Jim Goodwin

“The timing of this merger, and the opportunities it offers to provide more support for male survivors, is particularly important given our expectation that the Royal Commission investigating institutional sexual abuse in NZ will increase the number of men seeking help” says Ken Clearwater, the Manager of MSSAT and National Advocate for Male Survivors Aotearoa (MSA).

MSSAT peer support staff will join CMC and Ken Clearwater will continue in his national role with MSA. “This merger - which has the full support of the MSSAT and CMC Boards - marks the end of an era for MSSAT but a fitting conclusion to a proud history of establishing a national network of support services for male survivors” says  outgoing chair of MSSAT and a now trustee of the CMC Jim Goodwin.

MSSAT was initially established by Iain Bennett  as a peer support group for male survivors of sexual abuse in 1991 and became  a Charitable Trust in 1997. In 2001 Ken Clearwater was appointed Manager of MSSAT and was subsequently instrumental in establishing peer-support service centres in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Nelson and Otago. In 2014, with the support of ACC, MSD and the NZ Police, the national organisation MSA was established to provide advocacy, policy and operational support for the national network of service centres and Ken was appointed National Advocate.

“Ken, and his fellow trustees at MSSAT, should feel very proud of the integral part they have played in establishing a national network of support services for male survivors” says Philip Chapman, Chair of MSA. “Without his dedicated and persistent advocacy this national network would simply not exist”.

In November last year. MSA hosted the 3rd South-South Institute on Sexual Violence Against Men and Boys (SSI) in Christchurch, which involved international delegates from around the world including indigenous speakers from America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand sharing their experiences, research and expertise to inform national and international policies and service response programs. This conference - which was initiated by MSSAT - not only demonstrated that New Zealand has an influential role in the international survivor community, but also highlighted the issues facing male survivors within New Zealand. “We believe from research that 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 16th birthday something that we as a nation have failed to face up to for many years” says Ken. “Things are now beginning to change as Government attention and support is helping us to provide a better national service for male survivors.”

CMC welcomes the merger with MSSAT. “Adding peer-support to our existing portfolio of support services enhances our ability to serve our local community. We are very pleased that we are able to carry on MSSAT’s commitment to support male survivors in Christchurch” says Donald Pettit, CEO of CMC.

Message from Canterbury Men's Centre CEO Donald Pettitt

I'm looking forward to working more closely with MSSAT (now to be called Male Survivors Canterbury Project). We know each other quite well and have had a close working relationship from the beginning of the CMC. We have also had a growing cross referral relationship and sharing a building should increase this client flow. The partnership makes a lot of sense and combines the strengths and resources of both agencies to create better outcomes for Canterbury men and communities.

Both agencies are acutely aware of the challenge that is likely to arise in the coming five years as a result of the Crown Inquiry into Abuse in State Care.  The new partnership is going to be key to seeing to the care of the high number of men that are likely to come forward as a result of the inquiry.

Please get in touch if you have any questions/concerns about this decision (donald[at] or 021 025 02631).

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch