(This statement has been approved by the Woman’s Outreach Committee of the ISO of SAA.)
As a newcomer in SAA, please be aware that this is an individual 12-step program with no governing authority except our Higher Power. This is a group of sex addicts. If any person you encounter within our fellowship tries to behave sexually with you, this is inappropriate. You may end the conversation/relationship immediately. Our 5th tradition states that our primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the sex addict who still suffers. Exploiting a new member is not in keeping with our Traditions and is inappropriate. This behavior, commonly referred to as “13th stepping,” is rare but unfortunately does happen.
Here are some suggestions some of us have found helpful for discerning and preventing “13th stepping.”
1. Have a wide range of support. Reach out to several people for support, not just one or two people. If something doesn’t feel right, question it. Do not hesitate to turn to another sober member for support if necessary.
2. Some groups have found it helpful to assign two temporary sponsors to each newcomer, that way the newcomer is never alone with another member.
3. Read our literature on Safe and Sober Meetings. Do not spend one-on-one time or have phone calls with people in SAA to whom you are attracted or have expressed an attraction to you.
Above all, sobriety is the goal. Honor yourself by surrounding yourself with people who support your recovery!