SACHA has a group for women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse starting on Wednesday, September 16th and will have a group for men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse on January 27th.
We often are asked ‘What is group?’ and ‘What happens at group?’
What is Group?
Sexual abuse survivors may know that other people have experienced violence, but it is a very different feeling to be in a room with other people saying “I felt this,” or “I lived this,” and knowing that you are not alone in your healing.
“I learned a lot from group. The most important thing I learned is that I am important.” – SACHA group participant
SACHA offers closed groups for survivors who have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Registration is ongoing, so if you are interested please call and chat with a counsellor.
What is Closed Group?
Closed group has the same members coming each week from beginning to end. This consistency helps folks to develop trust and safety in the group process. Group members know that they will see familiar faces each week.
“We may have different stories, but we all have the same feelings. The leaders were awesome and made me feel its OK to be me. With all my emotions and confusion. “ — SACHA group participant
Uncertainty is a worry for many new group members. Over the course of group many people surprise themselves when they felt comfortable sharing their feelings and their life experiences.
“I am comfortable with my first experience in a group setting. I wouldn’t feel as afraid to enter one again.” – SACHA group participant
What About Talking?
There is no expectation for you to share more than you are comfortable with. There is an expectation that you will participate in discussions but that can look very different for each person.
“Learn to be kinder to myself. Knowing I’m not alone, able to share with others.” – SACHA group participant” – SACHA group participant
“The topics were all very educational and allowed us open up and be safe and comfortable in our process of sharing.” – SACHA group participant
What’s Covered in Group?
Each group looks different depending on the participants. Group members shape the experience and structure.
Some group topics may include:
- Healthy relationships
- Understanding the impacts of sexual violence
- What healing can mean?
- Grief and loss
Some thoughts from other participants about what they learned:
“This process has been positive and opened up many doors for myself in regards to my own personal discovery.” – SACHA group participant
“This was not my fault and self-care is huge.” – SACHA group participant
“Support, trust, compassion – I feel accepted, validated and most of all listened to.” – SACHA group participant
“Topics – intense but good. Learned a lot of tools to deal with the impacts of abuse.” — SACHA group participant
“I liked all the group topics – very helpful. Every night was a new learning tool or mechanism I could use in my life.” – SACHA group participant
It is OK to have fears about group. You may find reasons that prevent you from wanting to join a SACHA group. We encourage you reach out and chat with a counsellor about your concerns. Meeting with a counsellor might help you feel more prepared, braver and see that you have something important to offer to the group.
Something to reflect on before starting group:
- Have I already taken the time to focus on my healing needs? Most survivors need times in their healing when they only focus on themselves in order to be present for another survivor and provide support to others.
- Am I ready to hear others trauma stories knowing that sometimes it can be overwhelming and triggering?
- Am I in a place in my healing process where I can support others while valuing my own healing process too?
- Can I speak about my experiences in front of others? I can decide what I want to share in group but I know I am able to share personal thoughts and feelings with the group.
- Can I participate in group by listening and supporting others as well as taking risks to share about myself in a respectful way?
If closed group sounds like something you are interested in, call SACHA to chat with a counsellor – 905.525.4573.