From the MAP Support Club (MSC) team: MAP Support Club is an independent peer support group for minor-attracted people (MAPs) who are fundamentally against child sexual abuse and committed to never harming children. It is a safe space for MAPs to access peer support and community. We can be found at https://mapsupport.club.
MAP Support Club’s unique approach is undergoing a professional evaluation by child protection experts. We will have more to share as the study progresses.
The Prostasia Foundation serves as a financial proxy and child protection partner to MAP Support Club, providing their volunteer staff team with expertise and resources to ensure they are operating safely and effectively. This is a small part of our efforts to support initiatives that can reduce rates of child sexual abuse.
A growing body of research indicates that mental health support for minor-attracted people can reduce rates of child sexual abuse perpetration among this group. Additionally, many child protection experts believe that peer support serves as an effective form of help for MAPs who are concerned about their risk of committing a sexual offense.
MAP Support Club provides a safe and reliable space for its members to help each other overcome feelings of shame and distress, while committing to living healthy and productive lives. Dedicated channels allow members to seek immediate support in times of crisis, and relevant resources are made available to anyone who feels they would benefit from other forms of support, such as therapy.
Through their groundbreaking partnership, the Prostasia Foundation has provided MAP Support Club with tools, legal guidance, and financial support to further their child protection and mental health support efforts. This includes access to Prostasia’s Advisory Board, which includes experts in child protection, sexual violence prevention, mental health, and other relevant fields.
Thanks to the Prostasia Foundation’s established reputation with child protection researchers and mental health professionals, MAP Support Club can now provide its members with regularly-scheduled sessions with licensed mental health professionals, directly in the group. To date, this has included members of Stop It Now!’s helpline team and independent practitioners. Prostasia reviews the credentials of all professionals to ensure the safety and privacy of MSC members.
CSAM scanning tool
As part of our efforts to end the spread of CSAM online, the Prostasia Foundation has developed an open-source tool that enables MAP Support Club to automatically scan for and remove any instances of child sexual abuse material before they become visible to other members. The tool has never been needed, but it remains active as a supplement to MSC’s human moderation team and strict vetting process for new members. Together, these measures ensure the support group remains safe and beneficial for its members.
Ongoing or planned projects
As the result of a generous donation from a supporter, child protection experts are in the early stages of evaluating the effectiveness of MAP Support Club’s approach. We hope this will open the door for MSC to pursue new financial and mental health support opportunities going forward, expanding the services they can provide for their members. Look at the message near the top of this page for updates on the evaluation’s progress.
The Prostasia Foundation is working with our child protection partners to provide MSC’s volunteer staff with formal training. This will improve the staff team’s ability to support members in crisis, build a productive and healthy community, and address any concerns about member safety. This will work in tandem with the ongoing professional evaluation to help MSC become eligible for new funding and support opportunities and ensure pressing mental health issues are met with an appropriate and effective response.
Thanks to the combination of MAP Support Club’s commitment to protecting its members and the Prostasia Foundation’s expertise in child protection and digital safety, MSC is in the process of developing a comprehensive and standardized approach to safeguarding minors on its platform. This has included adopting official interim safeguarding policies and working with experts to ensure MSC’s approach is consistent with the latest research and guidance in child protection.
Frequently asked questions
Who can join MSC?
MAP Support Club is open to the following groups:
- Minor-attracted people over the age of 13
Why are minors allowed on MSC?
Research indicates that the average age for a MAP to discover their attractions is 14 years old. Additionally, a large portion of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by other minors, some of whom may be MAPs. As explained above, providing these individuals with access to support can reduce their risk of perpetrating crimes, and guidance from other MAPs can play an essential role in helping them make healthy and productive decisions.
What safeguarding measures does MSC take to keep minors safe?
MAP Support Club takes an uncompromising approach to safeguarding and has implemented several measures to keep minors safe, with more on the way. Most notably, adult members are not allowed to speak privately with minors without direct staff supervision. Additionally, a private, though still moderated, minors-only channel is available to any minor who feels uncomfortable engaging with adults in the group.
- Researchers and licensed mental health professionals whose credentials have been verified by MSC staff and/or Prostasia
- Adult members of the general public who are interested in learning more about and supporting MAPs
If you fall into one of these groups and are interested in joining MSC, you can find application instructions on their website.
Does Prostasia run MSC?
No, MAP Support Club has an independent leadership team that is separate from Prostasia’s staff, with the exception of the MSC liaison, who serves as a staff member of MSC and volunteer for the Prostasia Foundation. However, Prostasia and MSC staff collaborate closely on various projects and major decisions about how MSC is operated. The ongoing partnership between the Prostasia Foundation and MAP Support Club is dependent on MSC maintaining policies that promote child protection and safeguarding of its underage members.
How can I learn more about MSC?
If you have questions about MAP Support Club, you can reach out to the Prostasia Foundation using our contact form. You can find more information about MSC – including a public list of their rules – on their website. Their staff team can be reached at [email protected].
MSC support and services
Learn how you can support MAP Support Club and what services it can provide to relevant professionals.
For mental health professionals
If you are interested in providing regularly-scheduled support sessions for MAP Support Club’s members, please contact them at [email protected].
If you are seeking a sample of anti-contact MAPs to participate in an upcoming or ongoing research project, MAP Support Club can share the opportunity with its members. Email them at [email protected] and include the following:
- Your name and institutional affiliation
- Name and contact information for your supervisor
- The name of the group providing ethical review
- The pitch you would like MSC to share with members
If you want to support MAP Support Club financially, you can donate to help them cover the ongoing costs of operation and fund planned and ongoing projects related to child protection and mental health support.
Cover MSC’s recurring costs such as server hosting, domain registration, and fees for licensed professionals to help the group stay online.
Donate towards MAP Support ChatSuggested Price: $5.00 / month
Fund projects to help MSC improve its services for members and better pursue its child protection and mental health support mission.