In the 1980’s, MKs (Missionary Kids) began reporting to the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) about the abuse they had experienced at the boarding school the C&MA had operated in Mamou, Guinea-Conakry, West Africa. In 1993, a more focused effort to have the C&MA address these allegations began when the Mamou Steering Committee was formed including Co-chairs Richard Darr and Beverly Shellrude Thompson, and members Marilyn Shellrude Christman, David Darr, and Kathleen Kirkwood.
Their work led to an independent investigation of Mamou Alliance Academy based on their allegations, and resulted in confirmation that widespread abuse had indeed occurred at Mamou Alliance Academy. Through their own experiences of suffering abuse as children, and then experiencing re-victimization by their mission board – who minimized and/or tried to dismiss what had happened – the Mamou Steering Committee saw the need for a forum where former MKs, TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and their families could tell their stories, network with others who had similar experiences, and learn how to bring their concerns to the church and/or mission authorities/leaders who were now responsible for acknowledging and addressing these crimes.
Because MKs from around the world had begun to reach out to the committee for encouragement and guidance in dealing with what had happened to them, the Steering Committee agreed to continue their efforts by launching MK Safety Net in 1999. On October 6, 2003 Marilyn Shellrude Christman registered MK Safety Net as a not-for-profit organization in the state of Oregon. Officers included Marilyn Shellrude Christman (President), Howard Beardslee (Vice President), Beverly Shellrude Thompson (Secretary), Richard Darr (Treasurer) and members Ann Beardslee, Jim McDonald, Susannah Anderson and Richard A. Irwin.
In an effort to extend support to Canadians, to promote public awareness, as well as to develop and implement policies of prevention and protection, MK Safety Net Canada was registered as a charity in Canada in 2013.