Saprea Support Groups are led by survivors, for survivors of child sexual abuse. This means that if you are an adult (18 years or older) female survivor, you have the opportunity to start a group of your own, in-person or online. By bringing healing resources to other survivors in your area, you can build a community of compassion and support that will make all the difference in their lives—and in your own healing. For more information, check out the rest of this page.
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Am I Ready to Be a Group Leader?
To lead a group, you don’t have to have everything all figured out, nor do you need to fill the role of a therapist, expert, or life coach. So, what do you need? To help you answer this question, we invite you to watch this video and review the list of items below. As you review this list, remember you don’t have to check off every item to become a group leader.
These points will give you a good idea of what to expect in the role:
- I am at a point in my healing journey where becoming a group leader will fit into my life, my schedule, and my personal demands.
- I can balance my own healing while supporting the healing of others.
- I am familiar with grounding techniques and how they can help manage triggers.
- I can commit 2–3 hours of my time to each group meeting.
Group leader resources
If you decide you are not ready to be a group leader at this time, that’s okay.
You can always return to this question in the future as you continue along your healing journey. Remember, what’s most important is attending to your individual needs right now as a survivor—whether that’s finding a group to join or starting one of your own.
How Do I Start a Group?
Below is a list of things you need to do in order to start a group. Some of these steps might take longer than others and you may feel discouraged at times. That’s okay. Such feelings are normal and do not diminish the effort you are putting in. Even as you encounter new barriers, we encourage you to continue forward. The support, education, and healing you will find for yourself—and other survivors—is worth it.
1. Find another survivor who is willing to participate with you as a co-group leader.
All groups require a minimum of two group leaders and one participant.
2. Find a location and/or online platform.
Consider an environment that is conducive to creating feelings of safety for participants. For in-person groups, we recommend a local community center, library meeting room, business that would be willing to donate space, or hospital or clinic that have teaching classrooms you can use. Try to avoid homes. For online groups, we recommend a platform that allows you to share the screen and has a chat function.
We also recommend the following
Determine in advance the way you will communicate with group members. We recommend creating a new email address that you only use for your support group or using a third-party app such as Band, Slack, or a Facebook closed group.
To ensure group member safety, please do not include online meeting links or private phone numbers.
If you want to recruit publicly, use the community flyer to post information about your group.
Keep going even when you feel discouraged. These support groups often start small and build over time.