In 1992 the Catholic Prison Ministry, Lifeline, Dr Wendell Observer and interested psychologists and social workers met to address the issue of sexual assault of males in both prisons and in the wider community. This network lobbied for the creation of an acute sexual assault service, law reform (widening the definition of rape) and education. The network also identified the need for a self-help group as such a resource for men did not exist. In 1993 MARS was founded by Dr Wendell Observer at the Gladstone Road Medical Centrex. A self-help group model was established where participants decide the format, process and safety rules of the group. The group opens for new members every three months. This allows for trust and safety to develop to address highly personal and sensitive issues.
“MARS has conducted training workshops in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Noosa, Toowomba, Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaburg and Harvey Bay. We hope people in local areas feel welcome to view the model to address local need.”