Starting a local support group

Starting a Local Support Group

ascaFollowing on from our previous blog about local support groups, this article focuses on what a support group is all about and why they can be useful.

First and foremost, don’t get confused between support groups and therapeutic groups.  They are different although they do have some similarities.  The support groups we like to focus on have been specifically designed by the Norma J.Morris Center and the Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCASM) Program.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse (ASCASM) is an international self-help support group program designed specifically for adult survivors of neglect, physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse.  Their organisation offers different and varied services aimed at survivors of abuse.  Although HAVOCA is not affiliated to the ASCAsm program in anyway we are a huge advocate of their work, values and ethos.

Their Support Group programme focuses on social support to help fellow survivors overcome and transcend painful victimization as children.  There is no single leader in the group, rather facilitators (who are volunteers), who help members provide support and guidance for each other.

The organisation provides all of the materials that are necessary to start a group in your area, including pre-workshop reading, self reflection of readiness, learning concepts, role plays, group dynamics, safety, Structure, Format Challenges, and Interventions.  It also helps volunteers manage personal reactions to the meetings and provides terms of reference for facilitators, secretaries and founders.  There are meeting development ideas and closing exercises.  The organisation also provides all the meeting materials you will need in preparing for different stages of the groups meetings.

If you are interested in starting your own local group or would just like to know more about the organisation then please visit these links:

ASCASM – Website

ASCASM Meetings – Website with links to meeting materials and resources

ASCA Co-Secretary and Co-Facilitator Training Manual – PDF file containing all the information you will need to start and run your own local support group for other Survivors.

The Norma J. Morris Center, creator of the ASCA SM program, is a non-profit 501c3 organization run by volunteers. They are solely funded by individual donations. To donate please follow this link.



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Support, Information and Guidance for adult victims of child abuse and their support networks.

One Response to Starting a local support group

  1. Kesegofetse mpho says:

    Hi i am so greatful for this site . I am an adult survivor of CSA and want to help my fellow citizens who had gone through CSA. I realised that in my country,Botswana there are no facilities nor programs available to assit the survivors. Therefore i want to start a support group. I had made progress in getting help
    on my own but i still feel the need to go outand do more to get closure and help others please help.

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