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ASCA: New York City 

Support Group for Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Who Are We?

 

ASCA New York City is a support group for adult survivors of child abuse. We meet weekly to give one another emotional support and an opportunity for expression of feelings, thoughts, memories, hopes, insights, and education on the subject of child abuse.

 

Our meetings follow the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCA) program as designed by the Morris Center in San Francisco. The format is similar to that of 12-step programs with some significant differences. Similarities include directed readings, short and long shares, absence of cross-talk, and mutual support. Differences include the replacement of the 12 steps with a list of 21 steps that are more relevant to survivors of child abuse. For more information on our meeting format, visit the ASCA website.

 

When and Where Do We Meet?

In Greenwich Village in Manhattan in New York City on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 PM. We start at 6:30 PM sharp at which time we close the door. We open the door for latecomers only at two designated times after which nobody else may enter the meeting. We do this so that no person is interupted while giving a share. You do not have to commit to regular attendance; although we suggest it. While every third meeting focuses on one of the 21 steps of ASCA, each meeting is a distinct entity from every other meeting. Thus, you will not be lost if you attend a meeting having not attended a prior meeting.

 

Our meeting place is a block and a half south of Washington Square Park between West 3rd St. and Bleecker St. and near several train stations including the West 4th St. station (A,B,C,D,E,F,V trains), the Christopher Street Station (1,9 trains), and the Prince Street Station (N, R trains). There is a parking garage on West 3rd Street between 6th Avenue & MacDougal 2 blocks from our meeting place. Parking is available on our street as well. Please check the parking signs on the street for permitted hours. Generally speaking, parking on neighboring streets becomes permitted after 6 PM. Please email us for an exact address and more detailed directions. We meet in a modern, safe, and public building in a large room that is equipped with air-conditioning.

 

Here is a photo of our street.



  

Here is a photo of our old meeting room. (Sorry, we need to take one of the new room.)




  

Who Can I Contact for More Information?

 

Email John at johndt41@yahoo.com

 

What Is the Basic Meeting Format?

  1. Opening Comments by Co-Secretaries, Readings
  2. Presenter (maximum 15 minutes)
  3. Feedback to Presenter (10 minutes)
  4. Shares (maximum 5 minutes each)
  5. Closure Comments
  6. Announcements & Closing

 

What Do I Have to Do at Meetings?

 

You do not have to do anything. You do not have to introduce yourself and do not have to speak. You can just sit and listen if you like. This is a no pressure situation. We try to keep the atmosphere easy going and friendly.

 

How Many People Attend Meetings?

 

We average seven people per meeting.

 

 

What Types of Child Abuse Do You Discuss?

 

We discuss the whole gamut of forms of abuse including incest, sexual abuse by non-relatives, violence, emotional and verbal abuse, and neglect.

 

 

What Is the Demographic Background of Meeting Participants?

 

We have people of many races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and life style choices. We have both men and women, most meetings with a 50-50 split by gender. Our participants cover the adult age range.

 

What Are the 21 steps of ASCA?

STAGE ONE: REMEMBERING

  1. I am in a breakthrough crisis, having gained some sense of my abuse.
  2. I have determined that I was physically, sexually or emotionally abused as a child.
  3. I have made a commitment to recovery from my childhood abuse.
  4. I shall re-experience each set of memories as they surface in my mind.
  5. I accept that I was powerless over my abusers' actions which holds THEM responsible.
  6. I can respect my shame and anger as a consequence of my abuse, but shall try not to turn it against myself or others.
  7. I can sense my inner child whose efforts to survive now can be appreciated.

STAGE TWO: MOURNING

  1. I have made an inventory of the problem areas in my adult life.
  2. I have identified the parts of myself connected to self-sabotage.
  3. I can control my anger and find healthy outlets for my aggression.
  4. I can identify faulty beliefs and distorted perceptions in myself and others.
  5. I am facing my shame and developing self-compassion.
  6. I accept that I have the right to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live.
  7. I am able to grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me.

STAGE THREE: HEALING

  1. I am entitled to take the initiative to share in life's riches.
  2. I am strengthening the healthy parts of myself, adding to my self-esteem.
  3. I can make necessary changes in my behavior and relationships at home and work.
  4. I have resolved the abuse with my offenders to the extent that is acceptable to me.
  5. I hold my own meaning about the abuse that releases me from the legacy of the past.
  6. I see myself as a thriver in all aspects of life - love, work, parenting, and play.
  7. I am resolved in the reunion of my new self and eternal soul.


Can I Join?

 

We welcome any person who is recovering from child abuse except for those who are currently perpetrating abuse on others  (See note 6 below.).

 

Our Meetings are classified as Open drop-in. This means that a newcomer to the ASCA meeting is always welcomed into the group. Participants come when they want. There is no set commitment to attending ASCA meetings and no requirement to participate. If you like, you can just get comfortable in your chair and watch.

To ensure cooperation and safety in our meeting, we observe the following guidelines:

  1. Please arrive on time and remain until the conclusion of the meeting. Latecomers will be asked to wait outside so that speakers who are sharing are not interrupted. There are two opportunities for entry - 1) just prior to the main presenter about 10 minutes into the meeting, and 2) just prior to the share period approximately 35 minutes into the meeting. No one will be allowed in after this last time.
  2. ASCA meetings are exclusively for survivors of physical, sexual, or emotional childhood abuse.
  3. This is an anonymous meeting. Only first names are used.
  4. What you hear today is told in confidence and should not be repeated outside this meeting.
  5. We ask that no one attend our meeting under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unless the medication is prescribed by a physician.
  6. ASCA meetings are not intended for survivors who are currently perpetrating abuse on others. Talking about past or present perpetrator type behavior is not permissible.
  7. Language that is considered derogatory concerning race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or other minority status is unacceptable in our meeting.
  8. By participating in this meeting we all agree to abide by the spirit of ASCA, our guidelines and any interventions by the Co-Secretaries.

Does It Cost Anything? 

There is a suggested contribution of $10 per meeting. This money goes towards room rental and administrative fees. The contribution is suggested and not required of those who cannot afford it. We pass around an envelope for collection. Nobody will see what you place in there. 

Can You Suggest Any Other Online Groups?

 

The Morris Center has an ASCA discussion group. To join, click here: http://www.ascasupport.org/phpBB2/index.php


Yahoo has a highly active discussion group called Abused Survivors. To join, click here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AbusedSurvivors/ .

 

isurvive.org also has online support. They have a good resouce listing as well. http://www.isurvive.org/resources/abuse.shtml/ .

 

If you are looking for a group dedicated to loved ones of survivors, click here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CoSurvivorsSupportGroup/

 

Do You Know of Any Support Groups in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area?


There is an ASCA group that meets in Montclair, NJ. You can go to http://ascasupport.org/events.php for more details.

 

Survivors of Incest Anonymous has groups specializing in sexual abuse.

 

Where Can I Go If I Am In Danger of Injuring Myself?

 

You can call 1-800-Suicide. You can go to http://suicidehotlines.com/ on the web. In New York City, you can call the Samaritans of New York at (212) 673-3000. You can go to the hospital emergency room too.

 

Will This Group Help Me?

 

Most participants report that the group has been helpful in their recovery, providing comradery, the feeling that a person is not the only one, a forum for expression, and a resource for ideas. Recovery takes time and, usually, a variety of approaches including individual therapy. We cannot promise that the group is for you, but if you feel that it might be, we hope that you will give it a try.


Can I Start My Own Group?

You certainly can. You do not have to be a professional therapist to start a peer support group. Each meeting is carefully scripted to help insure a safe sharing environment. The ASCA program materials are available online for free download. Furthermore, the Morris Center offers  training free of charge to group facilitators and hosts a facilitator listserve to put you in touch with other group leaders. If you cannot find an existing support group in your city or neighborhood, starting your own may be the answer. Please Email John at johndt41@yahoo.com for more information. You can find a pamphlet of tips for starting a group.


Let me just add that support groups are a potent and affordable device for healing. And healing should not be postponed for a sunny or rainy day. We look forward to seeing you at a meeting soon.

 

Hoping for you a peaceful day,

 

Scott

 

Disclaimer: The Norma J. Morris Center and ASCA-NYC assume no responsibility for any damages, injuries or losses that occur as a result of using the information provided by us on this Website. Do not use our ASCA program resources as a substitute for professional care and services. You should always consult a trained professional with any questions about your specific needs and concerns. Always know your own limitations and factor in your own good judgment and common sense. Your use of any material provided on this Website constitutes your acceptance of the terms in this disclaimer.

 

Last revised: Monday, August 2, 2009