Survivors of Incest Anonymous 

We Define Incest Very Broadly


for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse


Welcome!  We are so glad that you made it here...

This site is intended to be a resource to survivors of child sexual abuse, and we hope it can be an aid in your recovery. SIA is responsible for the content of what you find here. However, SIA is not associated with, and takes no responsibility for the sites that provided the link to this site or published this address, nor is it responsible for the content of their statements to the world.

Our best wishes to you on your journey. Recovery is difficult, but at least we now know that

    We are not to blame, and we are not alone.


An Introduction to SIA


(Suggested opening for meetings):

We welcome you to Survivors of Incest Anonymous and hope you will find here the hope, camaraderie and recovery that we have been privileged to experience.

We open and close the meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer:

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Loving Higher Power, grant us the serenity

to accept the things we cannot change,

the courage to change the things we can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.


We are a spiritual, self-help group of women and men, 18 years or older, who are guided by a set of 12 Suggested Steps and 12 Traditions as borrowed from AA, along with some SIA Slogans and the Serenity Prayer. The only requirement for membership is that you are a victim of child sexual abuse, and you want to recover.There are no dues or fees.

Everything that is said here, in the group meeting or member to member, must be held in strict confidence.

We do not have any professional therapist working in our group. SIA is not a replacement for therapy or any other professional service when needed.

We define incest very broadly as a sexual encounter initiated by a family member or by an extended family member that damaged the child. By "extended family" we mean an aunt, uncle, in-law, step-parent, cousin, friend of the family, teacher, coach, another child, clergy or anyone that that betrayed the child's trust.

 We believe we were affected by the abuse whether it occurred once or many times, since the damage is incurred immediately.

We learn in SIA not to deny, that we did not imagine the incest, nor was it our fault in any way. The abuser will go to any length to shift the responsibility to the defenseless child, often accusing the child of being seductive. We had healthy, natural needs for love, attention and acceptance, and we often paid high prices to get those needs met, but we did not seduce our abuser. Physical coercion is rarely necessary with a child since the child is already intimidated. The more gentle the assault, the more guilt the victim inappropriately feels. We also learn not to accept any responsibility for the abuse, even if they occurred over a prolonged period of time. Some of us are still being sexually assaulted.

We in SIA share our experiences, common feelings and hopes. We realize that we felt we had to protect our caretakers from this horrible secret, as if they were not participants. We felt alienated from the non-abusive family members. Often, greater anger is directed toward them since it is safer to get angry at people we perceive to be powerless. Some of us became caretakers in order to maintain an image of a nurturing family. Our feelings of betrayal by our families are immeasurable. We need to mourn the death of the ideal family that many of us created in our own imaginations.

In dealing with this pain, it feels as if we are pulling the scab off a wound that never healed properly, AND IT HURTS. However, it is easier to cry when we have friends who are not afraid of our tears. We CAN be comforted - that is why we are here. Our pain is no longer in vain. We will never forget, but we can, in time, end the regretting that accompanies destructive remembering. We can learn, One Day at a Time, that we are incest SURVIVORS, rather than incest victims.


                                        OUR MEETING CLOSING
            (followed by a moment of silence and the Serenity Prayer)
In closing the meeting, it is important for us to realize that no one here can tell us what to  do. In SIA, we do not give advice. The Steps, Traditions and literature contain suggestions that we have found to be very helpful. Each of us will find the path meant for us in recovery.  Take what you like and leave the rest, but let there be no judgment or criticism of one another. 
We are where we belong no matter who abused us, how often, or what the nature of the abuse was. We share many of the same feelings and consequences as other survivors, and we can offer each other respect and loving support. As we come together for this support, sharing our experiences, strength and hope is essential. But let us always remember that what is said in this room, or member to member, must be held in strict confidence. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of our program ever reminding us to place principles above personalities. Only in the safety of anonymity can we learn not to deny.

Let us all strive to maintain anonymity at the level of press, radio, television,  films and the internet. If we run into a member outside a meeting, let us never jeopardize our anonymity by letting it be known that we met in SIA. Finally, we aim to limit our "outside" discussion of a given meeting to the topics discussed, careful not to break the anonymity of any member.

We want to remind those who have recently joined SIA that you are creative, courageous and caring survivors. It's a miracle that you are here. Each day we accept and deal with the consequences of our incest experience, we become stronger, and we can recognize and identify ourselves as proud survivors. We are sorry that suffering brought us together, but we hope you will feel the love we already have in our hearts for you. We know your pain. We want you to know you are not to blame, and most importantly, you are not alone.

We have come to the awesome realization that our pain is temporary

and if any one of us can recover - so can we all.

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Loving Higher Power, grant us the serenity

to accept the things we can not change,

the courage to change the things we can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.


                 There is, on average, a visitor to this site every 7 minutes…
                                     24 hours a day,  7 days a week
                              There are a lot of survivors in the world.
                                             You are not alone.

                              Please be gentle with the child within…

To receive news of SIA events, retreats, new literature and more by email, send an email to 

You do not have to put anything in the subject or body of the email.


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

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