The Board recognizes that some survivors may have, regrettably, perpetrated abuse. Many members are uncertain as to whether they did or not. There is much confusion around this issue particularly for those who are new to the program. Additionally, many of us have internalized our perpetrator(s), further complicating this issue. From the SIAWSO website: NOTE: As children, some survivors were forced, emotionally or physically, to abuse other children. Because they were forced, the SIA community does not consider such survivors to be true perpetrators. The adult(s) who staged the forced abuse were 100% responsible
The challenges survivors face are many and they need to be dealt with assertively, overcoming them is vital to recovery. There are other places where survivors who believe they have perpetrated can get “outside help.” Most importantly, working closely with a trained therapist who is comfortable, supportive and knowledgeable about the subject has been tremendously helpful for many survivors.
Survivors of child sexual abuse who have also perpetrated abuse on another, are to be commended for the courage it takes to work toward healing. We in no way mean to judge or condemn those among us. On the contrary, our intent is to protect and ensure the health and well-being of our membership, which means SIA as a whole.
What Does This Mean for Your Group?
The website and the following literature will be updated to reflect this action, a realignment with our Steps, Traditions and Literature, changes will be forthcoming in:
- The Welcome
- Intro of the Meeting Directory (on-line and hard copies)
- 12 + 12
- Group Concerns
- Mission Statement
- Who can attend a meeting?
- Best Practices
- Each meeting listing that specifies “no perpetrators”
Conclusion: the Board of Trustees of SIA, after seeking legal counsel, and in support of our Traditions, Steps and literature will state clearly on our website, in our Literature and head all Meeting Lists (published online and/or in the confidential directory) with the simple statement that,
“neither past or current perpetrators of child sexual abuse are allowed in any SIA meetings.”
Yours in SIA Service,
The board of Trustees of SIA
Linda, Lee, Lisa, Axie, Elias, Juanita, Rebecca
** It should be noted that the attendees of the SIA 2009 World Service Conference, voted unanimously in favor of supporting the Board’s action and approved this statement completely. **