Survivors of Incest Anonymous 

We Define Incest Very Broadly


for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Download Pamphlets
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12 Steps & 12 Traditions

We in Survivors of Incest Anonymous have learned to be creative, resourceful and courageous on our own behalf. In order to do this, we have need­ed to face the challenges that our victimization has placed before us.  We each do this in different ways. The Twelve Steps have helped many of us in this process.  We have learned to live more fully, not as vic­tims, but as survivors...

Suicide Prevention

In denial and in early recovery from sexual child abuse, the raw, often unfocused inner pain may feel unending and unendurable, and we may feel hopeless or overwhelmed by the task ahead of us in healing ourselves. These are temporary states even though they may feel unmanageable or unchangeable at the time.

For Those in Other 12 Step Programs

Many of us have been helped to return from insanity to sanity through 12 Step programs. However, our first 12 Step program may seem to conflict with our recovery from incest. In SIA, we use the same 12 Step tools, but differently. Most 12 Step programs teach behavior modification. In SIA, we learn to nurture our inner child.
Characteristics of Incest Survivors

Any sexual contact, covert or overt, between a child and a trusted individual damages the child whether these contacts included suggestive remarks, pornography, fondling, or acts of sexual aggression or torture. These contacts scar virtually all facets of victims’ lives since we are left with little or no self-esteem.

For Male Survivors
"When I first came to Survivors of Incest Anonymous and saw I was outnumbered by women, I wanted to turn and run." This quote expresses the thoughts of many male Survivors. In time we came to realize that SIA is for all Survivors, not just women. We, too, had been children and innocent victims.

Covert Incest

The dictionary commonly defines incest as “Sexual relations between people who are related through the bond of family and/or marriage.” In SIA, we define incest broadly, incorporating abuse from adults outside the family. We focus on the emotional impact of this abuse of power between a child and an adult caregiver or family friend/acquaintance. What matters is that an adult betrayed the innocent child’s trust and this traumatic betrayal carried a sexual aspect to it. In fact, the damaging effects of incest can manifest in the child, or later in the adult abused as a child, even if the child is never touched. This is referred to as covert incest. 

Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Some of the social maladjustments arising from incest are alcoholism, drug addiction, self-injury, prostitution, promiscuity, uncontrolled anger and sexual dysfunction. Eating or sleeping disorders, migraines, back or stomach pains are just a few of the physical consequences that we may suffer. Food, sex, alcohol and/or drugs deaden painful memories of the abuse and obscure reality temporarily...

Autobiography Guide

Writing our life stories has helped us with identifying, owning and responding to our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, wants, needs, behaviors, hopes and dreams. It was important in discovering and accepting who we are and who we want to become.

Is SIA for You?

SIA is for victims of childhood sexual abuse and incest who are willing to become survivors. The following questions are designed to help you decide if you were a victim of incest so that you can find help and local support, and so you can begin behaving like a survivor.

In SIA, no one is told they must confront their abuser. As a part of our recovery pro­cess, we may want to confront, because our needs often change as we detach and be­come more indepen­dent.

Love and Sex

Sex is ultimate sharing. It can be wonderful and freeing or the most humiliating and painful experience of our lives. When our first sexual experiences were humiliating and painful, sharing ourselves physically can take tremendous courage and a complete rewiring of old messages in the brain, heart and soul. Sex can be one of the most stubborn parts of our healing process. A complete change in attitude is necessary. 


© 2007 Survivors of Incest Anonymous
All rights reserved.  Permission to reprint granted only in writing.

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