Workshops for survivors

20 – 22 SEPTEMBER 2013



SAMSOSA runs  residential recovery weekend workshops. Our goal is to offer a recovery experience in a safe, powerful environment of shared healing.

The weekend will provide a variety of healing activities: sharing of stories, writing exercises, anger work, other emotional expression, group discussion, shared creativity, relaxation and even fun in a safe, nurturing environment.

The event is for men to actively engaged in recovery work but is not a substitute for therapy.

Considerable attention has been paid to creating a safe, nurturing environment respectful of participants’ needs. The weekend focuses on the reality of recovery as revealed by male survivors.

These is no need to suffer alone, South African Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse, fellow survivors and professionals continue to develop resources and support systems that move the recovery process forward.


Ngomo Safari Lodge – Cradle of Humankind

A privately owned Safari Lodge situated deep in the heart of the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve where you become one with nature.  Warthogs lazily feed within touching distance and other animals can be seen down the valley.

Only 40 minutes drive from Johannesburg or Sandton. Ngomo Safari Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve overlooking Spioenskop Mountain in a tranquil surrounding making this an ideal location for the Victims No Longer weekend. Switch off and forget about the hustle and bustle of city life and concentrate on the issues at hand

This fully serviced camp comprises of six luxury Safari tents each with  4 beds and an en-suite bathroom with basin, shower and toilet.  A large communal lounge with fireplace, bar, pool table, dining area and DSTV is available to all guests. The lapa has a stunning view over the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

There is so much to do when visiting this prime game reserve, you will see Lion, Cheetah, Rhino, Buffalo, Tiger, Hippo, Wild dogs, and more than twenty other species  totalling over 600 head of game including Sable and Roan Antelope.


For further information and dates of the next weekend please contact


“It was with some hesitation that I dropped my husband off at the airport. He was on his way to a small coastal town in England, namely Scarborough for a “Victims No Longer” weekend recovery. I was apprehensive because not only was he on a journey to another country but he was meeting up with a group of male strangers, something not previously comfortable for him.

My husband was a victim of sexual abuse as a young teenager and of a violent rape during his time as a conscript with the South African Air Force. So it goes without saying that I was fearful for him, he could have been heading off to something that would further hinder his healing process. I did not let him know of my fears as I wanted him to go with my blessing.

My fears were unfounded – upon his return I picked up a new man at the arrival hall of OR Tambo Airport. My first impression was of a man walking proudly as if a heavy weight had been lifted. There was a youthful glow in the way he hugged and kissed me and told me how glad he was to be home. I was intrigued and a little envious that a group of men across the seas could do so much for him in such a short time.

We had a family dinner the following evening, both our daughters, one with her husband and the other with her long time boyfriend, as well as my husband’s sister and lifetime partner joined us for a “sharing”. It was to be an evening I would long remember.

He told us how for the first time in his life he felt like he belonged, warts and all. How he had laughed, cried and reconnected with his inner child and how he had met men that he felt would be friends for life. As he recalled the events we were all in awe of how open and unashamed he was. Even though we were all aware of his difficult past, never had we seen him speak with such clarity about the way he felt. That evening we all laughed and cried with him, even our daughters suitors were amazed how he interacted with them that night.

I almost fell in love with him all over again. We had always had a good stable marriage but at times I felt like he was not present, this of course being a very dominant reaction to unresolved trauma. This weekend recovery had given this special man in my life a new lease on life. These men across the seas with the help of facilitator, Mike Lew had filled the empty spaces with regenerated cells of hope and sheer happiness. I will be eternally grateful to them, each of them a survivor in their own right, for the part they played in his recovery.

Scarborough, a place I may never visit now enjoys a far more prominent place in my geography. The famous Simon and Garfunkel song”Scarbourough Fair” names four herbs:

Parsley – Is said to take away bitterness and medieval doctors took this in a spiritual sense as well.

Sage – A symbol of strength for thousands of years.

Rosemary – Represents faithfulness, love and remembrance. Brides still wear twigs of rosemary intertwined in their hair today.

Thyme – Symbolizes courage and the symbol was used on knights shields when they were in combat.

In summary Scarborough played a big part in my husband removing bitterness, finding strength, receiving love and having courage.

In closing I can say without a doubt that my husband healed in leaps and bounds because of his interaction with other male survivors during this workshop. My husband is no longer a victim and no longer a survivor, I can proudly say he is now thriver.

Rosemary, Johannesburg, South Africa


Mike Lew, M.Ed., a psychotherapist and group therapy leader in the Boston, MA area, is co-director of The Next Step Counseling and Training Centre.

As a cultural anthropologist specializing in the field of Culture and Personality (Psychological Anthropology), he worked with the late Margaret Mead and Colin Turnbull. After further training in Counseling Psychology, he became a leading expert on recovery from sexual child abuse, particularly issues of male survivors.

Mike Lew has worked with thousands of men and women in their healing from the effects of childhood sexual abuse, rape, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect. The development of strategies for recovery from incest and other abuse, particularly for men, has been a major focus of his work as a counsellor and group leader.

He conducts public lectures, workshops for survivors, and trainings and consultations for mental health, medical, human service, clergy, law enforcement, and other professionals throughout the United States and Canada and in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Mike has taught at The City College of New York, Quinnipiac College, The College of New Rochelle and University of California at Santa Cruz.

His publications include Victims No Longer: The Classic Guide for Men Recovering from Sexual Child Abuse (Second Edition, Revised and Updated Quill, 2004). The first book written specifically for men recovering from sexual child abuse, Victims No Longer continues to earn praise for both its clinical expertise and compassionate tone, educating survivors and professionals about the recovery process, speaking to the pain, needs, fears and hopes of the adult male survivor.

Mike’s second book is Leaping Upon the Mountains (Small Wonder Books and North Atlantic Books, 1999).

Mike Lew has consulted to the National Institute of Mental Health, National Resource Centre on Child Sexual Abuse, Childhelp USA/National Child Abuse Hotline, People Against Sexual Abuse and many other organizations in the United States and abroad. He has been on the editorial board of the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse and the review board of the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Mike has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Sally Jessy Raphael, People Are Talking and many other television and radio programs.



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