VICE looking for WOMEN PREYED on Sexually while they were attending AA or ex- AA members who were harmed.

vice on hbo pic

I have been contacted by a VICE reporter, Cecilia— the online magazine not the TV show. Millions of readers are there.

Here we go…please share everywhere. FACE BOOK and twitter too.

“Hi, my name is Cecilia and I’m a reporter with VICE.

Right now, I’m reporting a piece on the culture of sexual predation in AA.

For this article, I am hoping to speak with female AA attendees (current or former) who have been sexually assaulted or preyed on by male AA attendees.

I am more than willing to work with sources to protect their identities. To reach me, please shoot me an e-mail at cecianasta@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your time.”

 

 

 

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78 thoughts on “VICE looking for WOMEN PREYED on Sexually while they were attending AA or ex- AA members who were harmed.

  1. I was in a a as a teen and I was frequently sexually harassed by much older men. One man from. A A I dated briefly turned out to be a sex offender. It gets worse. I would be happy to do your interview

    • Gayle- ok- please write to VICE’s reporter at her email. I have spoken to her for hours over the past year. Sorry you had to go through all that. I know. I was 18 when I first attended AA meetings.

      • Vicky on January 28, 2016 at 11:46 AM said:
        I have been in recovery for over 28 years. When people come into the rooms they are vulnerable. However, many are given suggestions that they choose to ignore. Such as: Be aware of 13 steppers and stay away from them. Many will point out who those people are. It is suggested that men stick with men and women stick with women. Find someone who is obviously recovering (you can tell those people by their actions and behaviors). Stay away from those who are not working the steps, using a sponsor, or not following the heart of the program (spiritual principles).

        The 12 steps are a process of looking within and taking a thorough and honest self examination. It is a process of finding forgiveness of self and others. It is a process of being of service and compassionate towards anyone who walks through the doors. No one is perfect.

        My first sponsor was a loving woman who was empty inside because she had not worked the steps. She was abstinent for five years however she held onto a lot of addictive behaviors (using men for money, anger outbursts, etc.). When she learned from someone else (who I had shared my concerns with) that I was looking for another sponsor she became angry and attacked me outside of a meeting. In spite of this attack I still loved her because she was there for me when I was hurt, lonely, angry, sad, or wanted to use. However, I found another sponsor who had experience with working the steps. Five years later, I was sponsoring my first sponsor to help her through the steps. I was willing to love her in spite of herself.

        Fast forward ten years. I had been in a lot of emotional pain as a result of a relationship ending with violation and betrayal (in other words… he left me for another woman). This triggered hidden unresolved feelings (related to sexual assaults that occurred when I was thirteen by neighborhood guys). This guy (good looking I must say ~ who also chronically relapsed) invited me over to watch movies. When I arrived I discovered he was drunk and and geeking on cocaine. I met him in a 12 step meeting. A friend had suggested that I leave with him but this guy asked me to stay because he was afraid. I agreed and set boundaries that I was there as a friend and nothing else was going to happen. Needless to say he sexually assaulted me. This event triggered memories and flashbacks to when I was thirteen. It also helped me to see that I was as powerless as a child as I was that night. I started to press charges but chose not to since it was going to be a he said she said scenario. Instead I chose the road of forgiveness.

        The 12 steps have helped me to love myself and others unconditionally. It has helped me to see how I (yes ME) made poor choices that put me in harms way. Just like when I was little and did something wrong and was hit with the belt for punishment. NOW… don’t misunderstand what I am saying.

        I DID NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED THE WAY I WAS TREATED AS A RESULT OF A POOR CHOICE.

        HOWEVER, maybe if I had not broken rules (like cutting school when I was gang raped at 13) I would not have had those experiences.

        The 12 steps have given me peace in my soul nothing else has ever done. Especially church, CBT, behavioral modification therapy (I continued to go back to using when involved in those recovery programs). I rejected the 12 step fellowships in 1980 because of the word GOD in the steps. I still do not believe in “GOD” however I do believe in “G.O.D.” Good Orderly Direction which has to do with practicing spiritual (as in the Greek meaning ~ to breathe) principles by connecting with others with love, care, compassion, empathy, and honesty.

        I have written more than I intended… and I am sorry. I just believe that people need to see that there is another side. 12 step fellowships are not responsible for the actions of it’s members either the predator or the victim. They are responsible for their own actions and behaviors. WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY OF BLAME… instead of INDIVIDUALS taking personal responsibility for their own actions, choices, and behaviors.

        Namaste ~ Vicky

        • Vicky, I see so much internalized blame here. You have stated that you know you don’t deserve what happened but still believe that the violence you experienced was due, in part, to your rule breaking. I ask you to consider the harm that lies in this mentality and to ask where that voice comes from. Further, to ask what it says to other women. “Well, we told them there were predators here. If they are victimized, it’s their own fault,” is the epitome of victim blaming. What needs to be explored is how an environment of predation is created and supported by members of a community that is intended to heal.

          • H
            No internalized blame. As a matter of fact I have released all of the shame and guilt that was internalized for so many years! I feel empowered by the clarity. As a result, I am able to be less impulsive, more thoughtful in what I do or do not do. If I had not cut school… I would not have been gang raped. Just because I cut school does not mean I deserved to be gang raped.
            Fault is about blame.
            Accepting responsibility is about being able to respond sensibly.
            I refuse to play the victim, be part of a blame game, or hold onto resentments. They only kill me before they harm anyone else.

        • vicki I have been in recovery for over 28 years.

          Maybe you haven’t noticed… but …THIS IS NOT AN AA Meeting and we don’t care a hoot about your stupid time.

          You cant impress us, bully us, or take over the meeting…..VICKI— you are not in a MEETING!!!

          You are on a anti AA LEAVING AA blog.

          I had 36 years —-big deal….I gave it away to the AA Time police —–when I left in May 2011. …..and felt freer then ever….. I’m embarrassed I wasted the time and energy I did with your so called nonsense.

  2. I first tried AA in 1989 and left because I was so sexually harassed. I was sincere and willing to “go to any lengths” to get sober, but NOT what those men wanted to do. There were very few women in the groups, and none of today’s “women with the women” rhetoric. I thought if this is the only way, I am on my own, and I left.

    • hi Sophie- GLad you got out….but even the news has just reported a 30 something women in CANADA was preying on WOMEN in ALL WOMEN”S meetings and involving them in Sex trafficking and violent sexual abuse and got 8 years in prison.
      So even women’s meetings are not safe for the new and vulnerable.

        • @lynette

          They are not court ordering sex offenders and violent offenders EVERYWHERE!!!! ONLY to AA meetings. And those other places are not called alcoholics ANONYMOUS !!! — they are not holding hands with strangers in the GROCERY STORE– IN A BAR___ in A POST OFFICE ….God you guys — trolls are so fucking stupid….

            • Anger is a normal thing when women are being raped and children molested. As we write all over the country in AA and NA meetings and culture these crimes are occurring.

              I would be insane if I were not angry for those who have been harmed. I feel for victims who have no voice. We are that voice.

              You don’t like …then don’t read my blog. GO create your own blog.

              • cate- also did you see that she is blaming the victim? Do you even care about how many vulnerable women are being treated by predators in AA everyday in every city?

                Her line was asinine.

  3. I have been in recovery for over 28 years. When people come into the rooms they are vulnerable. However, many are given suggestions that they choose to ignore. Such as: Be aware of 13 steppers and stay away from them. Many will point out who those people are. It is suggested that men stick with men and women stick with women. Find someone who is obviously recovering (you can tell those people by their actions and behaviors). Stay away from those who are not working the steps, using a sponsor, or not following the heart of the program (spiritual principles).

    The 12 steps are a process of looking within and taking a thorough and honest self examination. It is a process of finding forgiveness of self and others. It is a process of being of service and compassionate towards anyone who walks through the doors. No one is perfect.

    My first sponsor was a loving woman who was empty inside because she had not worked the steps. She was abstinent for five years however she held onto a lot of addictive behaviors (using men for money, anger outbursts, etc.). When she learned from someone else (who I had shared my concerns with) that I was looking for another sponsor she became angry and attacked me outside of a meeting. In spite of this attack I still loved her because she was there for me when I was hurt, lonely, angry, sad, or wanted to use. However, I found another sponsor who had experience with working the steps. Five years later, I was sponsoring my first sponsor to help her through the steps. I was willing to love her in spite of herself.

    Fast forward ten years. I had been in a lot of emotional pain as a result of a relationship ending with violation and betrayal (in other words… he left me for another woman). This triggered hidden unresolved feelings (related to sexual assaults that occurred when I was thirteen by neighborhood guys). This guy (good looking I must say ~ who also chronically relapsed) invited me over to watch movies. When I arrived I discovered he was drunk and and geeking on cocaine. I met him in a 12 step meeting. A friend had suggested that I leave with him but this guy asked me to stay because he was afraid. I agreed and set boundaries that I was there as a friend and nothing else was going to happen. Needless to say he sexually assaulted me. This event triggered memories and flashbacks to when I was thirteen. It also helped me to see that I was as powerless as a child as I was that night. I started to press charges but chose not to since it was going to be a he said she said scenario. Instead I chose the road of forgiveness.

    The 12 steps have helped me to love myself and others unconditionally. It has helped me to see how I (yes ME) made poor choices that put me in harms way. Just like when I was little and did something wrong and was hit with the belt for punishment. NOW… don’t misunderstand what I am saying.

    I DID NOT DESERVE TO BE TREATED THE WAY I WAS TREATED AS A RESULT OF A POOR CHOICE.

    HOWEVER, maybe if I had not broken rules (like cutting school when I was gang raped at 13) I would not have had those experiences.

    The 12 steps have given me peace in my soul nothing else has ever done. Especially church, CBT, behavioral modification therapy (I continued to go back to using when involved in those recovery programs). I rejected the 12 step fellowships in 1980 because of the word GOD in the steps. I still do not believe in “GOD” however I do believe in “G.O.D.” Good Orderly Direction which has to do with practicing spiritual (as in the Greek meaning ~ to breathe) principles by connecting with others with love, care, compassion, empathy, and honesty.

    I have written more than I intended… and I am sorry. I just believe that people need to see that there is another side. 12 step fellowships are not responsible for the actions of it’s members either the predator or the victim. They are responsible for their own actions and behaviors. WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY OF BLAME… instead of INDIVIDUALS taking personal responsibility for their own actions, choices, and behaviors.

    Namaste ~ Vicky

    • Lovely story thank you. Sadly there are those women and men who did not get the chances and fulfillment you have today following being raped,sexually assaulted or murdered. Whilst you may have accepted what happened as a poor choice on your behalf for many others there was no choice. Sadly sexually deviant offenders do not care about,what is to say your offender did not go onto to rape and murder another woman. To say that there is too much blame is not good. 2% of rapists ever get prosecuted in the US that says something about the rape culture prevelant in society. Please look up rape culture to gain an understanding. Why cant someone speakout about their experience. Finally when you concentrate potentially dangerous criminals into a vulnerable group then the risk js exponentially increased as from your experience sadly this was the case.

      I shall light a candle for you tonight nonetheless as beacon of hope that people can deal with this awful crime however the individual frames that recovery but best imo dealt with professionally first and foremost.

      • Oh dear — how the steppers like to think the Leaving AA blog is a place for them to “SHARE”!

        Love your post outofthewoods. 🙂

    • WHY_ why do we need to see the other side?

      Sorry you were raped….that’s a travesty…..how ever….

      In the propaganda AA movies and TV shows, including Dr Drew’s stupid show, which are promoting AA aka 12 step——-

      we DON’T get to see or hear the other side of thousands of sexual harassment cases, rapes, murders, Child molestation and financial fraud.

      Pro steppers like yourself have already had an abundance of places including the white house .gov website…many movies stars presenting false images of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to preach your pod like lay person, quasi cult religious ideology at such great lengths that the Board of Nursing treats Sponsors like a therapist/professional and the FAA sends pilots to AA for years —-against their will.

      I hope I never hear a women or man blaming themselves about being violated as a child, or anything closely related to victim blaming which btw is going on all over the country still today.

      Women with lots of time telling a 40 year old lovely women

      ” how dare she go to the police and report her rapist..”..

      VICKI – you said “instead of INDIVIDUALS taking personal responsibility for their own actions, choices, and behaviors.”

      Once again Vicky we have you, a woman who was raped feel compelled to come to my blog with your disgusting victim blaming and promoting your Pro AA views.

      Cant you read the name of the blog ?

      LEAVING AA—

      Isn’t that clear enough for you ?

      Or are you too a Narcissistic stepper who has to give your OPINION even those who dislike AA – your 3 minute “share” about you?

      Join the Rowdy RUM on FACEBOOK where you can pretend you are in a meeting on SOCIAL Media. We are not pro stepping anything here.

    • Read back what you wrote and substitute “Scientology”, or the name of some other cult for “AA” and “12 steps” and see how it sounds.

  4. I have some many visitors a year here on leaving AA who have no desire to hear your point of view.

    We heard it in your stupid meetings for way too many years.

      • We visit to verify that are there are total stepper nutjobs that seem to think they are somehow important which your not of course, thanks for the laugh and the confirmation yet gain.

        • On a more serious note of course it is important to remember that some people are getting their voices heard about what happened to them at the hands of the very people they chose to trust. Thankfully this site exists as a public service to ensure that the wider public get a clearer picture that AA and 12 step quasi religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and your on your own if anything happens to you. It’s great that the author of the possible Vice article is doing this and highlighting what is totally unacceptable potentially criminal behaviour within the 12 step woo world.

          • Ever heard of personal responsibility? Nobody forces anyone to go with these people. It’s pretty obvious to me when I get hit on and I am careful about my personal security. No guarantees anywhere in life, drinking or not.

            • Incorrect. The petpertrator of sexuallly orientated crimes does in fact force themselves on the individual. That is why it is a crime to violate aother person sexually ir otherwise. The perpetrator will use whatever means necessary to achieve their agenda. It does not matter how responsible you are or even aren’t. It does not mean that anyone deserves this to happen them. Your argument is very poor and is frankly ignorant.

          • There is nothing sick about pointing out that it is wrong to blame victims of rape or sexual assault. There is nothing wrong with any of us and this is just a usual worn out stepper tactic where by the claim is totally unfounded, wayward and the least bit irksome to even worry about.

          • What is sick about people here? That they disagree with you? I haven’t seen them show any signs of “sickness”, as the real world sees it.

    • How do you know they are in favour of you? I am one coming here and tell my friends about it so they can see how weird your thinking is. A good advertisement not leave any form of recovery if you ever got in trouble with alcohol.

  5. Vicky,

    My first sponsor was a loving woman who was empty inside because she had not worked the steps. She was abstinent for five years however she held onto a lot of addictive behaviors (using men for money, anger outbursts, etc.). When she learned from someone else (who I had shared my concerns with) that I was looking for another sponsor she became angry and attacked me outside of a meeting.

    • Id like to know how you are loving and empty inside at the same time. Now if you picked someone who had never worked the steps and you respect that part of their personality; than why would you ever pick someone like that as a sponsor and stay with them for five years. Probably because you never realized that (AA) is not capable of helping you make good decisions. Otherwise; why should recovery take you 28 yrs. Sounds like something you could do on your own. AA sucks you in and forces you to over analyze yourself. That is if you let them.

      • Defo it tries or takes away what I believe to be very valuable and that would be GUT INSTINCT. I moved country when I stopped drinking and have a great life now but a jealous sponsor tried to ruin it for me. I have seen the worse cases of jealousy in aa aswell its ridiculous and the 12 steps is meant to help with stuff like that hahaha its good for a laugh if nothing else. It was great for me for 18 month to get back on track get myself sorted and then by doing things I was interested in I attended smart meetings and they were excellent. I have drank a few times since then but hey I took a drink big wow! my life aint over although people got upset i.e family and I undesrstand why they were. I suppose I just grew up at the right time well still growing as a person maybe lol. Life for me is great when I dont drink of course it aint the most important thing in my life anymore. i have a family now aswell and they are more important than booze. I finally got my priorities in order and settled life for me was hard in my younger days. I didnt create much oppurtunities for myself and my behaviour and drinking and drug taking affected me in my younger days but hey I put it down to a young guy making his mistakes in life although they were one after another at times. But life is good. Since coming to realize that aa is a load of shite I’M TRUE TO MYSELF.

        • hi and welcome ! – Sounds like SMART Recovery really helped you . Good program that supports priorities and healthy lifestyle changes without being judgmental .

          What country are you from…sounds like you have an accent?

  6. I can’t say I was sexually harassed but there were definitely lots of men (and lesbians) who think AA is a place to meet vulnerable women. I am a strong person and so I didn’t get abused but I did date a man who was six years sober when I was only 5 months sober, (he asked me out for coffee, the biggest pickup line in AA) and mostly we spent the time debating the merits of the program. I was not convinced I would have to attend meetings forever, he said every relapse begins with quitting meetings. I said he couldn’t know about the people who left and RECOVERED because they don’t come back and report that at speaker meetings. I ended the “relationship” after three months because he hated his sister, and I stopped going to the meeting he attended (my “home” group.)
    There were many men who took the hugging at every opportunity as a right of membership, but I was clear with them and wouldn’t hug some. There were many I liked and sincerely didn’t mind hugging them, in the interest of full disclosure.
    A few months later (11 mos sober) I dated another man from “the rooms” (barf, I hate that term now) and we got along great but then when we had a disagreement after 2 months about how much time we should spend with his family, he called me with all the opinions he obtained from his sponsor and other AAs and I told him I wasn’t interested in a relationship where so many AA people would be weighing in at every turn. He was 24 years sober.
    When I got my one year coin, someone shouted “Now you can get in a relationship!” Hahahaha.
    I saw many hook ups and drama, pregnancies and divorces over the four years I attended but what made me decide to leave for good was watching what happened to a cute young girl. She was sitting behind me and crying, I took her number and found out that within less than two weeks of attending meetings she was spending time with a guy 13 years sober. I told her about the 13th step and when she asked him he said he never heard of that, but he proceeded to woo her to his home (she was married with a young child) and took her to dinner where she drank wine and they began a sexual relationship and he would give her money, etc. Her family had just paid a lot of money for an expensive rehab, she was there for 30 days before starting AA. She hated the whole God thing, wouldn’t share or announce she was an alcoholic. I stopped going to meetings for good after witnessing what happened to her. It was the last straw, as I was on my way out after seeing the rampant dysfunction of the program. I told her to keep seeing her therapist and encouraged her to quit AA.

    • So because she had met this guy at AA she was exempt from her choices with this guy? People, this is not logical. Someone makes a joke or people hug eachother at a meeting and you get paranoid. Get a life!

      • Wanda, did you miss the part where I said she was married, young, and with a small child? Living a secret life after her family just spent 10 grand on an expensive rehab? At a time she should have been focused on getting her child back (I didn’t mention the child was living with relatives) and her own recovery, she was caught up with this much older man who initially held himself out as a helper and then let her drink in his presence (he didn’t drink with her.)

        The forum is about women who were preyed on sexually, btw.

        • She made a lot of foolish decisions, why did she not seek help from someone of the same sex – she obviously knew of the fact that some sick guys will prey on women. Think about it, everyone in AA is an alcoholic and was he going to say “Oh yes, I’m a 13th Stepper?” Not likely – she should have trusted her gut instinct. It is generally inadvisable to date people in recovery, everyone knows that.

          • Women also get abused by women within the doors. Plus it is just odd to suggest that a woman would have to cloister herself in order to get sober. Organizations like xA should have safety measures in place.

            Librarian

            • Thanks massive.
              Wanda uses the term “obviously” and I only WISH it was obvious. Also, she uses the term “gut instinct” when none existed, her feelings told her these men were honest sober individuals.

    • VICKI_ this is very common in AA in the clubhouses and those types of meetings. I would tell her about the blog. Warn her the best you can.

  7. Hello again – turns out this young woman just called me. She is in rehab again after two DUI arrests. Court ordered 12 step rehab, of course. I told her she should stress that AA didn’t work for her (hence, her return to rehab) and she should ask for a better way. She also met another man since we last spoke in December, another guy from the program “helping” her by having a relationship – she didn’t specify if it was sexual, but that she was “seeing” him. I can’t stress enough to the Steppers who post here that this young woman is very vunerable – not strong like you, Wanda. She really thinks these men are helping. 🙁

    • I was vulnerable too but it did not render me incapable of making more sensible decisions. What about her child, her husband, her family? Why did she not turn to them again. This whole thing makes no sense. If she hated AA and what it was about why didn’t she go to free meetings of SMART or something like that. You say she wouldn’t admit to being an alcoholic either, she obviously should have gone somewhere else!

  8. Hi Massive it might be a good idea to keep some of these posts for the Vice author as an example of the very real blaming and minimization that can occur even directly on a public website. It’s great watching these posts that verify that this is a feature of AA milieu control as well. (Liftons thought reform). Fantastic evidence.

    • It’s not blaming, it’s pointing to the obvious. Did anyone say “they are to blame.” No, it’s about making self protective decisions.

      • Look there is enough inference throughout this thread that suggests otherwise and now you too. So did you know that most sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knew and therfore trusted? You see the argument is falling down already and add that to a place where vulnerable people can be misled and well you hopefully get the picture.Again individuals that commit these crimes are very clever and should not be underestimated. Victims should not be blamed for sexual crimes against them. See rape culture as a very clear and very sad phenomenon of which you and many others seem so unaware if.

          • There is no twisted logic apart from your post just the now. Sexual assault is wrong and it is wrong to blame the victim. Im sorry that you can’t see that,and sorry if you are upset that people may be having the opportunity to talk about what happened to them in aa. L8as

            • AA, non 12 Step, any recovery, any non recovery, this kind of thing happens all over the world in every community and care facility, in churches, in flop houses, every scenario. You can’t blame one or another, it is unfortunately a part of human society.

              • @ WANDA
                “this kind of thing happens all over the world in every community”

                No Wanda- the setting of AA is especially a set up for disaster. They are not court ordering sex offenders and violent offenders EVERYWHERE!!!! ONLY to AA meetings. And those other places are not called alcoholics ANONYMOUS !!! — they are not holding hands with strangers in the GROCERY STORE– IN A BAR___ in A POST OFFICE ….God you guys — trolls are so fucking stupid….

                Get off my site- troll- banned-

              • Theres only one place on that list that isnt accountable and has no responsibility for any of its vulnerable members. Thanks for verifying that sexual assaults do happen by aa members on aa members as well.

      • AA needs safety measures which are clear – the same as any organization that deals with people when they are vulnerable.

        Librarian

  9. Wanda and Lynette,

    Might I suggest you also contact The Vice and agree to be interviewed? (Smiling) This way they will have absolute proof that female members bully other female members into believe that they are at fault for being sexually assaulted. Plus, your opinions also show how members are belittled into staying in a program where they will continue to have contact with their abusers. No one should have to do that.

    Why aren’t you shouting ‘Go to the Police – anything to do with assault is outside our abilities to handle.’ ? I think it is because you have been taught to protect the organization at all costs and don’t even realize it.

    The whole ‘Go to women’s meetings’ is nonsense anyways. We all know that the majority of the meetings are co-ed and there is a negative stigma attached with women’s only meetings (speakers make fun of them from the front of the room implying they are all about hating men). It would be very hard to do one type of meeting without the other – and you know that.

    Librarian

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