Our organization is funded by generous contributions from our supporters. Donations are tax deductible and are used to develop educational programs, literature, and development of a legal defense fund to aid families and victims. We also have "Sponsorship" benefits. More information can be found on the "Recurring Donations" page.
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History of MASA:
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse, (MASA) was founded in California the 25th of March, 1992 by Claire Reeves, to educate society about the tragic abuse of children. MASA also endeavored to assist adult survivors of child sexual abuse and instituted programs for non-offending parents/guardians of children who had been sexually abused. The juvenile and family courts had become notorious for returning children to their accused perpetrators. Families involved in this judicial quagmire had no understanding of the system and there was simply no support for them. The goal at that time was to help a few people.
In April of 1992, Claire Reeves was a guest on the Bill Handel show, the largest radio show in California, talking about the issue of child sexual abuse. That show prompted a rash of over two-hundred calls from victims and MASA was overwhelmed, but put into place volunteers who returned every single call. A public service announcement was filmed for MASA by DeLaurentis Productions out of Hollywood. The Beta and VHS tapes were donated to MASA, and the organization sent them out to every major television network in the United States, wondering if any of the public service announcements would actually air. In fact, the public service announcements were aired on every major network, including the Oprah show. MASA had almost overnight become a national organization.
With the help of highly qualified professionals, a national referral list of professionals from the psychological and legal professions were put into place. A court watch program was instituted to monitor judge’s decisions with regard to children. Monthly meetings were held at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, allowing the professional community, law enforcement, and victims to educate and brainstorm for solutions to the blatant disregard for the rights of victims. MASA became involved in legislation, including eliminating the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution, in cases of incest and child sexual abuse in California. This important law took eight years to pass, to involve the retroactive part of the legislation. MASA's goal was to insure that victims would have redress in the California courts, even if the abuse had happened many years ago. The law required corroborating evidence that would eliminate the possibility of false allegations of child sexual abuse.
Claire Reeves, the founder of MASA, worked closely with the governor of California to pass the chemical castration law. Ms. Reeves also worked with the then attorney general, Dan Lungren, to pass the 900 number, sexual registration hotline. The hotline would allow individuals to check if someone in their community, school, etc., might be a registered sex offender.
Over the over next decade of MASA's tenure, the organization's staff fielded calls from across the United States as well as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, The Netherlands, New Zealand, and many other countries. MASA's dedicated staff provided emotional help and validation to the victim population and tirelessly sought to find resources in their areas.
MASA implemented training programs for schools, universities, and legal associations, including the Christian Bar Association. MASA instituted the first unwed mother program, with parenting classes for teen-age, unwed mothers. The program was presented in schools to these young mothers, many of whom were victims of incest. This program was widely acclaimed in the state of California.
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse and the founder, Claire Reeves, received many accolades, including Ms. Reeves being named “Woman of the Year” in Los Angeles in 1997. Then governor of California, Pete Wilson, as well as the California Assembly, Board of Commissioners, California Senate, the mayor of Los Angeles, and many private and other non-profit organizations applauded MASA's work for victims. In 1999, Claire Reeves received a certificate of special recognition from the United States Congress.
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse is unique in that the organization stepped into an arena and immediately met a critical need. Even during its infancy, MASA met the demands with dedicated volunteers, law enforcement support, and district attorneys who were frustrated with a system that seemed to protect offenders rather than their victims.
Today the organization's goals are to increase its educational programs while still providing the individual support to victims. As a 501(c)3 we are limited as to our legislative involvement. However, with the fifteen percent of the organization’s time, allotted by the federal government, we would like to design and support laws on a federal level that would protect children. MASA's petition to hold Congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., regarding the protection of children, is part of the organization's agenda. Mandatory education, for professionals deciding the fate of children in custody cases alleging abuse, is also part of our agenda. Judges, Guardians ad Litem, and others who decide the fate of children, should be mandated to attend training regarding children and child sexual abuse.
We at MASA feel that we bring years of experience as to the lack of education by judicial officials and the consequences of their failure to protect children who are in terrible jeopardy. This organization is dedicated to a reform of the system as well as bringing solace to victims. When we consider our most precious natural resources – it is our children – they are our future. This grassroots movement has survived from its humble beginnings to be a force for the protection of children, as well as giving a voice to adults who were traumatized into silence when they were innocent little children.