Home

News

Contact

Survivors of Sexual Abuse Anonymous is a 12-step programme for adults who have been sexually abused.

SoSAA groups are open to men and women who are 18+ from any and every background. Our groups are free to attend, there’s no membership and no pressure.

We provide a friendly, welcoming, safe environment where survivors of sexual abuse can listen or speak, share their experience when they’re ready, and work through the 12-step programme.

Once established, our groups are peer-led. This means that survivors are empowered to overcome the impacts of their sexual abuse, and to support others as they do the same.

Our Groups


Find a SoSAA group near you

SoSAA is a small but growing organisation. We are currently focused on London, but our ambition is to make SoSAA groups available to everyone in the UK impacted by sexual abuse.

We currently have groups in:
Bethnal Green on Wednesday at 13:00 – 14:00 at St John’s Church Bethnal Green, E2 9PA. The entrance is the door to the Crypt on Roman Road.
Clapham on Wednesday evening at 18:30 – 19:30 at St Barnabas Clapham Common Clapham, SW4 9SW.
Clapham on Saturday morning at 11:00 – 12:00 at St Barnabas Clapham Common, SW4 9SW.

All groups will be taking a Christmas break from December 19th – January 4th.

From January 2017:
Oxford on Tuesday’s from 10th January at 19:30 – 20:30 at Wesley Memorial Church, New Inn Hall Street, Oxford, OX1 2DH
Bristol on Thursday’s from 12th January at 19:00 – 20:00 at Barton Hill Settlement, 43 Ducie Road, Barton Hill, Bristol, BS5 OAX.
Aylesbury on Wednesday’s from 1st February at 20:00 – 21:00 at Aylesbury Vineyard, The Vineyard Centre, Gatehouse Close, Aylesbury, HP19 8DN. This is a woman only group.

If you are an organisation/person that would like to start a SoSAA group in your area then please get in contact with us.

FAQ’s about SoSAA groups

Do I have to pay?

SoSAA participants do not have to pay to attend but what we do ask is a small donation to help pay for venue costs, refreshments and materials.

What is a SoSAA group?

SoSAA groups are a place that survivors of sexual abuse can come and share in a safe space the emotional, physical or pschological consequences of being sexually abused. This is done with other survivors who can be a support to each other and share in a safe community of peers.

How can I join?

There is no membership for SoSAA. As long as you are over 18 and a victim of sexual abuse you can go along to the group that is best suited to you.

Why the 12-steps?

When starting SoSAA we wanted to have a programme that survivors could access for life. We chose the 12-step programme because it is an internationally renowned and has been tried and tested with success. It is also a progrmme that is life-long and not a quick fix. This is something that survivors of sexual abuse need.

Is SoSAA like a counselling session?

Participants who attend SoSAA are told that the groups are not therapy or counselling sessions. Although the groups may be led by trained facilitators, they are not there to give you counselling. Most groups are led by facilitators who are survivors and have completed the SoSAA 12-step programme a few times. We suggest that if you need professional support, then you access it in addition to your SoSAA group.

Can I come to SoSAA if I am receiving counselling?

Yes! You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can do both if necessary.

If I don’t do the steps, will it still make a difference?

Although a lot of the work is done through the community of the groups, the steps provide tools for life-long changes. Participants who attend SoSAA will get out of it as much as they choose to put into it.

Do I have to share?

Participants are not forced to do anything that they do not wish to do. Some participants will come and just listen to others for a few weeks until they feel ready to share.

Do I have to commit to attending each week?

You do not have to commit to attending each week, but to see transformations made you need to complete the whole 12-step programme before you dip in and out.

Our Organisation


Survivors of Sexual Abuse Anonymous (SoSAA) exists to empower adult survivors of sexual abuse to make positive changes for life.

Our focus is on running peer-to-peer groups for men and women survivors who are 18+, using an adapted version of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step framework. We welcome people from any and all cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds, from all faiths and none.

According to the NSPCC, nearly 1 in 4 adults in the UK has experienced sexual abuse by the age of 24. This suggests a total adult survivor population numbering many millions. Our vision is for a SoSAA group to be available to every adult in the UK affected by sexual abuse. We are also focused on ending the stigma of sexual abuse.

SoSAA groups are ongoing, free and accessible any time, but their real strength is that they empower survivors to begin and maintain their own recovery. Through peer-to-peer support, members find hope, recovery and fellowship – we welcome anyone who needs a safe space to unload the burden of their abuse.

We work in partnership with charities and publicly-funded services for abuse victims, counselling services, and others to establish SoSAA groups. We are also developing networks with healthcare professionals and police, among others, to develop the referral pathways and build understanding of SoSAA’s offer.

Source: Radford et al, Child abuse and neglect in the UK today, 2011. London: NSPCC

The 12 Steps

Our 12 step courses are designed to help those that have suffered sexual abuse.


1.

We admitted that we were powerless over the abuse, the effects the abuse had on us, and that our lives had become unmanageable.


2.

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore our hope and our sanity.


3.

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a loving higher power, as we understood that to be.


4.

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, the abuse and its effects on our lives.


5.

Admitted to a power greater than ourselves, to ourselves, and to another human being our strengths and our weaknesses.


6.

We’re entirely ready to have a power remove all the debilitating consequences of the abuse and became willing to treat ourselves and others with respect.


7.

Humbly asked a power greater than ourselves to remove the unhealthy and self-deprecating consequences that came from the abuse.


8.

Made a list of all persons we may have harmed, including ourselves, and became willing to make amends to them all.


9.

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would result in physical, mental or spiritual harm to ourselves or others.


10.

Continued to take responsibility for our own recovery, and when we found ourselves behaving in patterns dictated by the abuse, we promptly admitted it.


11.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a power as we understood that to be, asking only for knowledge for its will for us and the power to carry that out.


12.

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other survivors, and practice these principles in all our affairs.

For more information :

CONTACT US

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous have been reprinted and adapted with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“AAWS”). Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that Alcoholics Anonymous is affiliated with this program. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only - use of A.A.’s Steps or an adapted version in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, or use in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.

Meet The Team

Natalie Esther

Founder and Chief Executive


Natalie was born and raised in Liverpool until she was 18. At 6 months old she was taken into foster care then later on adopted by the same family. It was while in the care of her adoptive parents that she suffered horrendous abuse. She managed to escape their home at the age of 16 at which point, she was forced to become an adult and look after herself.

As an adult survivor, Natalie knows the lifelong damage sexual abuse can cause if left untreated. With the growing number of sexual abuse cases being reported in the UK, her concern was that the wave of survivors coming forward would not be able access the support they needed.

So, after a career as a nanny spanning over 2 decades, she found herself in unfamiliar territory as a pioneer of a new charity for adult survivors of sexual abuse – SoSAA.

Her vision is for there to be free, on-going peer-led support accessible to every survivor of sexual abuse in the UK.

Danielle Keen-O'boyle

Vice Chair



Danielle is a senior lawyer currently working within a leading specialist real estate practice based in London. She has a wide range of legal expertise, primarily advising real estate lenders on acquisition and development funding and refinancing. Danielle brings to SoSAA a passion for injustice, with a particular focus on individuals who have been subject to abuse in varying forms and she regularly meets with vulnerable women, many of whom are exposed daily to a wide range of issues, including risk of harm and exploitation, violence and abuse.

Richard Cook

Treasurer



Richard is a Chartered Accountant with a background in audit and transaction advisory and is currently working for BT as a financial consultant. He is passionate about justice issues and in particular sexual exploitation and abuse. Richard strongly believes that SoSAA can enable restoration and healing for survivors.

Leanne Saddler

Trustee



Leanne is a senior healthcare leader, working with the NHS in healthcare management, quality improvement and leadership development across the UK and globally. Leanne has experience in sexual health education, peer reviews and service improvement of sexual health support services.

Throughout her career, Leanne has focussed on providing a voice for those unable to speak for themselves and empowering people to make changes and improvements to enhance their lives. She also has experience of supporting survivors of sexual abuse and is excited to be joining the SoSAA team and contributing to the excellent work it does.





Testimonials

WHAT SoSAA PARTICIPANTS SAY

“Having completed the course, I can honestly say that SoSAA has changed my attitude, thinking and behaviours to the extent that my life is radically, outrageously, miraculously changing for the better – and so am I as a person.”

“I no longer let fear control me – when I get scared, I now know that I can “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

“I’m a lot less angry and have started giving people the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming that everyone’s out to control, manipulate and hurt me.”

“I am learning how to develop healthy boundaries – for example, I am getting better at saying “no” instead of just telling people whatever I think they want to hear.”

“I am learning how to have loving, healthy friendships with men instead of either pushing them away, throwing myself at them, or both.”

“I now let people touch me, hug me and stand/sit close to me without freaking out. I open myself up to people emotionally, show my vulnerability and tell them personal things about myself and my life – I can even do this with men now, as well as females.”

“I’ve gone from walking out of job after job and nearly getting evicted to successfully holding down a job and paying my rent every week.”

“Today, I got up on time, went to work and came back home. I am sober today. I didn’t binge eat today. I didn’t cut myself today. I spent time alone with a male colleague and enjoyed his company simply for what it was.”

“The group facilitator was so friendly and so were the participants. I quickly felt at ease. I have come on in leaps and bounds and made some very positive changes to my life as a result.”

“‘Survivors of Sexual Abuse Anonymous’ became my safe haven. My ‘Higher Power’ was a guiding star and each week I was ready and prepared to let go. I slowly came out of the darkness, step by step. Hearing the voices of others was so uplifting and encouraging that my fear started to dissipate.”

“I’m 30 years old now and it’s taken 23 years to be able to talk about as I did. I thank God for the SoSAA as it’s been a life line to me and I have now dealt with the root of all my drug abuse and abusing myself with self hate. I now feel free and no longer will I let the abuse hold me back in my life.”

“I’ve walked from what was my darkest secret now moving into the light.”

“I learned how to be a victor and not a victim. I am so glad I found SoSAA. It helped me to be more confident and see the light of the big dark tunnel.”

“SoSAA has become my true home and taught me a strong sense of belonging two passions I have never experienced before.”

“I believe I am worthy and precious, beautiful soul who is learning to love herself and her new family. Without SoSAA’s founding I would have never recognised let alone imagined possible.””

 

 

 

Contact Us

If you would like more details on SoSAA or any of our 12 step courses, please contact us:

Phone

07956013455



or


EMAIL US