In October of 1988 the first professional Conference on Male Sexual Victimization was held in Minneapolis. This ground-breaking conference, organized by a few dedicated mental health providers, brought together professionals who wanted to better understand and treat adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. At that time, only limited information could be offered to those who participated. But those present had great enthusiasm and the clear recognition that the conference was a necessary and valuable resource, where professionals could share practical information and ask questions. And it was a safe place for some to acknowledge their own sexual victimization.
The energy generated by the first conference helped fuel the production of the second conference a year later in Atlanta. This conference was a great success in many ways. It brought together over 400 professionalsÂ—many pioneer writers, researchers and practitioners in the area of male sexual victimization. A conversation was initiated too, about who we were as a dedicated group, and what we wanted to accomplish. We knew that we wanted to build on the conference theme and continue holding meetings after each conference in order to evaluate our efforts and envision our future.
In the wake of that first conference, there was a great deal of discussion about the growing movement among mental health professionals to address the therapeutic needs of adult male survivors of sexual abuse. In November of 1994 a core group of individuals, who had either attended or organized, many of the previous conferences, decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization. These same individuals spearheaded the initial organizing efforts, formed an interim board designated to write bylaws, and became the first Board of Directors of The National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization.
At the 1995 conference in Columbus, Ohio, the bylaws were voted on, as was a slate of candidates for the remaining board vacancies. Those who voted gave overwhelming approval for the organization to incorporate and this occurred in November of 1995, in the state of Minnesota. Since then NOMSV (now MaleSurvivor) has been moving forward on several fronts, from organizing National Conferences to creating this World Wide Web site.