Our ambition was to make SoSAA groups available to everyone in the UK impacted by sexual abuse. Unfortunately we no longer have the capacity to support groups directly. If you are a survivor who wishes to receive support, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We are talking to other survivor organisations about the possibility of future peer-led support groups, and whether support groups could be (re)established in the areas where we operated in.
We had groups in:
Bethnal Green on Monday evening at 19:00- 20:00 at St John on Bethnal Green Church, E2 9PA, The entrance is on Roman Road at the Crypt English Language School. Please press the buzzer to gain entrance. (AVAILABLE!)
Clapham on Tuesday evening at 19:00 – 20:00 at St Barnabas Church, Clapham Common Clapham, SW4 9SW. Use the entrance on Lavender Gardens. (PLEASE CHECK WHETHER THIS IS AVAILABLE)
Clapham on Wednesday evening at 18:30 – 19:30 at St Barnabas Church, Clapham Common Clapham, SW4 9SW. Use the entrance in car park. (AVAILABLE!)
Aylesbury on Wednesday evening at 20:00 – 21:00 at Aylesbury Vineyard, The Vineyard Centre, Gatehouse Close, Aylesbury, HP19 8DN. (Woman only group).(NOT AVAILABLE)
A further update to the current position will be published by October 30th 2018.
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 founder of SoSAA Natalie Esther left SoSAA earlier this year. The trustees had hoped to continue the important work to tackle the lifelong damage sexual abuse can cause if left untreated. With a growing number of sexual abuse cases still 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 there is a job to do to signpost survivors on to the most appropriate provider of support. Natalie’s vision was for there to be free, on-going peer-led support accessible to every survivor of sexual abuse in the UK. The trustees are working to achieve that, however, it is unlikely that SoSAA itself will do this.
With more than 25 years extensive and diverse experience of working as a Fundraising and Community Development professional and raising over £6m (European, National Government & Lottery funding & grants) over a period of 10 years in fundraising and voluntary sector management roles in both the public and third sector. Gareth's specialties are being a strategic thinker, results oriented, enterprising, a team player, self motivated, creative and innovative with new ideas. His former trustee roles include Interlink CVC (Council for Voluntary Service) HertsAid, Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales and Student Volunteering Wales. He has also held directorships of several not for profit companies.
With SoSAA being a mission driven charity, Gareth is proud to be able to support and hopefully steer it towards helping as many people as we can on the road to recovery and healing.
Jo is a corporate affairs professional with 15 years' experience working with large corporates across a range of sectors, including healthcare, financial services, food and drink, and retail. In the course of her career, Jo has led on a number of government, media and stakeholder relations campaigns and activities, including responsibility for the financial and governance reporting for a £12bn company. Jo passionately believes that SoSAA has the potential to empower many millions of survivors to overcome the impacts of their abuse and enjoy a richer quality of life.
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.
Maddie is an executive coach and consultant who develops leaders, builds high preforming teams and helps clients successfully navigate through change. With 20 years’ experience across the public, private and not–for-profit sectors, Maddie has covered a broad range of industries such as retail, finance and tech in Europe, Australia and the USA. She brings to SoSAA her extensive experience in Talent and Project Management as well as Responsible Business, both at an operational and strategic level. Maddie is excited about the philosophy of SoSAA in empowering survivors to overcome the impacts of their sexual abuse which is shared with that of coaching.
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.””