Survivors of Incest Anonymous
Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA) is a twelve-step fellowship for recovery from the consequences of childhood sexual abuse. SIA was founded in 1982 in Baltimore, Maryland by women survivors who believed their experience in other twelve-step fellowships (Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA) and Al-Anon) could assist in recovery from sexual trauma.
In SIA, incest is defined broadly as any sexual encounter by a family member, or by an extended family member that damaged the child. "Extended family member" means a person that the child or their family has known over a period of time. This may be any family member, a family friend, clergy, another child, or anyone who betrayed the child's innocence and trust. SIA maintains that incest survivors were affected by the abuse whether it occurred once or many times since the damage was incurred immediately. In SIA, "abuse" is defined as any sexual behavior or contact with a child. Sexual contact may include verbal and/ or physical behaviors; penetration is not necessary for the experience to be defined as incest or sexual abuse. Covert incest within the family is also a theme many survivors explore in SIA.
In 1982, SIA was founded by three, women survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Baltimore, Maryland. Today, SIA operates from Hartford County, Maryland as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. It helps survivors to connect with one another and carries a message of recovery to those who still suffer. For several years, SIA speakers have presented workshops at the Maryland Governor’s annual Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect.
In addition to open and mixed gender meetings, SIA designates some meetings as "women only" or "men only." SIA meetings are not open to past or current perpetrators of child sexual abuse. SIA traditionally defines a perpetrator as, "a family member or trusted individual who violates that position by seducing, or otherwise manipulating a child with overt or covert sexual behavior." For a complete list of SIA meetings see the website siawso.org.