Frequently Asked Questions
Who can join?
What if I’m under 18 years old?
While we can’t approve you for the Map to Hope support group at this time, we encourage you to come back once you turn 18. You can also check out these resources in the meantime: https://www.mapresources.info/support/minors
Do I have to show my face?
No. Some facilitators and participants may choose to turn on their camera, but this is never an expectation.
Will I be reported for contacting DEFEND or joining the support group?
Absolutely not. The only time we would be legally required to make a report is if someone disclosed an offense that had already taken place, or indicated that they were going to offend against a child.
Do I have to attend every meeting?
Nope! Once you’re approved for the group, you can join as many or as few meetings as you want.
Do you collect any data?
The only required data we collect from support group participants is their pseudonym (i.e. the name they would like to be called), what country they live in, and their email address. There is also optional (not required) data that someone may choose to provide. This would include an emergency contact and responses to a well-being questionnaire. We do not collect or monitor IP addresses.
Why are meetings recorded?
We are committed to trust, transparency, and anonymity, and understand the anxiety that recording meetings can cause. Support group meetings are recorded for everyone’s safety and protection, and to ensure that the group can continue to run long term. Recordings of meetings will be stored in a secure location that only facilitators have access to. Facilitators may also take general notes to help facilitate meetings, which will be destroyed or deleted immediately after each meeting ends.
Participants are not permitted to record meetings in any way. This includes screenshots, pictures, videos, and audio recordings. The only circumstance in which someone other than a facilitator would have access to recorded meetings would be in the case of a legal investigation, which is extremely unlikely.
What if I have previously offended?
DEFEND does not explicitly ask participants about past offenses. If you have offended in the past but are now committed to not harming children (including in-person contact and CSAM), you will be able to join the group, as long as you meet the other requirements listed in the “Who can join?” section above.
Do I have to talk in meetings?
You do not have to talk unless you feel comfortable doing so. However, one of the advantages of meeting over Zoom is that communicating through voice can help form connections better than through blocks of text. We work to make sure our meetings remain a safe, non-judgmental space.
Who are the facilitators?
Support group facilitators are MAP-friendly, have a background in social work and/or mental health, and have undergone training through DEFEND. They live throughout the world in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.