Please find below some example Group Safety Statements intended to address predatory or otherwise inappropriate behaviors in and around meetings. These are provided as a starting point — your group may opt to use and/or adapt some of the below, or start from scratch. Take what you like and leave the rest!
The below is a running list, so please check back periodically for the latest-greatest. If your group has a safety statement you would like to contribute to this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Group: DC008
STATUS: Approved 9/29/18
It is this group’s conscience to provide a safe, respectful, and inclusive meeting place for all attendees, which we view as critical to achieving our primary purpose: helping adult children to achieve emotional sobriety. In order to provide a welcoming environment for everyone, we ask that each person here refrains from any language and behavior that threatens the well-being of any of our members.
This includes predatory behavior which we define as exploiting someone’s vulnerabilities for self-serving purposes including romantic, sexual, financial, emotional, or psychological. If any person feels unsafe or in jeopardy at any time and for any reason, we encourage you to report that to a trusted servant of this group, such as a member of the Safety Committee. We also remind you that it does not go against any ACA Traditions to call the proper authorities if someone may have broken the law.
(2) Group: Bill D’s HG
“This a statement we inserted into our meetings format we read before each meeting. It is in the Meeting Boundaries section in several Ft Lauderdale meetings”
Some people attending ACA meetings have not grown beyond their victim or victimizer scripts and may attempt to meet their own needs through manipulation of newcomers, who are particularly vulnerable to abuse. This violates the safety of the meeting and can drive away some newcomers.
We strive to practice anonymity, confidentiality, and respect for others so that the meeting will be a safe place for each and every adult child.
(3) Group: Oaks PA 076
Our meeting must be a safe place where we remain mindful of each person’s right to choose how they interact and who they interact with. We practice recovery’s spiritual principle of attraction not promotion. We do not use the program to solicit recovery, romance, financial help or any other services. We remain willing to inventory when we may be coming from our own unmet needs as we interact with each other.
We do this because we know many of us, particularly newcomers, have not yet learned to feel comfortable saying no or setting boundaries. Therefore we do not solicit or give advice without explicit consent. Hand holding, handshakes, hugs are all optional. “No, thank you” is sufficient. While we give space to experience our program, we are truly grateful you are here and we look forward to getting to know each other and answering questions before and after the meeting. We aren’t perfect. The welcome we give you may not show the warmth we have in our hearts for you but if you will keep coming back you will see that we love and accept you in a very special way. Should you feel uncomfortable or question the approach of a member please speak with a meeting officer or trusted member.
(4) Group: VA068 (ACA Unity Club, Monday 7 pm)
(Read at halftime of every meeting, per Group Conscience held on 10/15/18)
Newcomers can be particularly vulnerable to emotional, financial and sexual exploitation. While we strive to keep all of our meetings safe, there may be an attendee who attempts to meet their needs through manipulation of group members. This is called the “Thirteenth Step,” which violates the safety of the meeting and is not part of our program. We therefore encourage newcomers to take common sense precautions when getting to know fellow ACAs. We suggest meeting in a public place, meeting with more than one person at a time, and any other steps you would take when you first meet people. If you have concerns about the conduct of a group member, please discuss it with your sponsor, a fellow traveler, a member of the meeting or that person directly and if necessary, it will be discussed at a Group Conscience or Group Business meeting.