The local tragedy of Chelsea King and the widespread silent tragedy of victims of sexual abuse make us all aware of the devastating effects of crimes of this nature. Recent estimates have shown that one in three females, and one in five males, are sexually abused by the time they are eighteen years old. There are currently seven independent 12-step meetings for survivors of sexual abuse in the Los Angeles area. San Diego has zero. That is going to change.
Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA) is a self-help group of women and men, 18 years or older, and the only requirement for membership is that you are a victim of child sexual abuse and you want to recover. The newly formed San Diego SIA group met for the first time on Tuesday March 30th in City Heights, 3 miles from SDSU. A North County SIA meeting in Escondido is also in planning. SIA is an ongoing, 12-step program designed to provide a path to healing for survivors of sexual abuse. Information about these meetings is spread by word of mouth, as 12-step programs maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
St Marks Episcopal Church in City Heights has graciously opened their doors to host San Diego’s SIA group. The Rev. Mac Collins, PhD, Rector at St Marks is an alumni of Point Loma Nazarene University and supports recovery programs. St Marks also hosts a 12-step program for recovering prostitutes and victims of human trafficking called Survivors of the Street (SOS).
If you would like more information about San Diego SIA support groups, contact Chloe Sparacino, a member of the Fermanian Business staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.siawso.org. Remember, 12-step programs are not for people who need them, but for those who want them!
The response and support received from the San Diego and Los Angeles communities has been overwhelmingly positive. We are excited to share this information with you in the hopes that it will be helpful to someone you may come into contact with.