History of SAA Women

A Presentation of the History of Women in SAA

Presented at the 2020 WIG-sponsored Women’s Retreat

Each one of you that are attending, served as trusted servants, and presented in this retreat are making history. You become a part of the history making.  This is WIG’s first virtual and the largest attended women’s retreat. So, give yourself credit and a big hug!!!!!

  1. As we hit on some of the history developed by the women in SAA take notes on needs and interests that you have and take them to the WOC Focus Group right after this presentation. There you can learn more about where you may want to serve the women in SAA. The women in SAA need you!!!
  2. What would you like to see become a part of women making history in SAA?
  3. Keep in mind that the WOC and WIG need you for them to continue with the history of women in SAA and in giving the women in SAA a voice.

Let me go back and say what was it like for me in 1995?

  1. I had already identified my AlAnon/co-dependent, perfectionist, victim, inner child, and love addict.
  2. Now came the acknowledgement of my sex addict, “the ringleader!!”.
  3. Working in the addiction field I already knew of the consequences headed my way if I did not stop acting out.
  4. I had 3 sons to support and take care of.
  5. Fear and shame!!!
  6. Sex addict was angry. She did not want to be in meetings and tried using “cutsie” behavior to cope.
  7. If I was “cutsie” enough the men would notice me and I would feel comfortable.
  8. Very, very few women attending meetings. Usually only one or two others in the meetings.
  9. Got a sponsor – she insisted on me doing service work.
  10. Attended conventions as a delegate.
  11. Noticed that the men in SAA had majority of the voice.
  12. Not much support for the women in SAA.
  13. Became a Board member.
  14. Mentioned to the Board that men had support for other men and had a men’s outreach. Why didn’t women have support and an outreach?
  15. Needless to say, if you bring a topic up you get volunteered to tend to it.
  16. That is how outreach for women was started.
  17. Women’s outreach became my passion. My service work and in giving back to SAA what had been given and continues to give me.
  18. The first 20 women had asked me to please keep them safe and not let any men get the outreach list. I replied with God’s help I will do my best. I do my best to see that boundaries, guidelines and by laws are written to support their safety.
  19. God continued to guide me where he needed me.

Dates history was created by women in SAA

  • May 2002 – first SAA women’s panel workshop at a convention / vision shared for women to connect by email for support.
  • May 2003
  • women’s outreach was originated by a female Board member.
  • Women met in one of the complementary suites for fellowship and to discuss their needs as women in SAA. This later became the Women’s Outreach room.
  • Women’s Outreach email list started with 20 women.
  • May 2004 
  • Women’s Outreach Focus Group met for the first time.
  • Preparations were started to have Women’s Outreach added to the SAA website.
  • May 2006
  • Election of officers for the WOC.
  • First teleconference meeting of WOC was scheduled which continues monthly on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10am central time.
  • 2006
  • Central email address for Women’s Outreach grace@saa-women.org
  • WOC members served as trusted servants for the grace email.
  • Board approved the website for women’s outreach to be added to ISO website.
  • First website to be posted and served as a prototype for other web links.
  • Grace@saa-women.org up and running.
  • Article written for the PBR (Plain Brown Wrapper), now the Outer Circle, to update fellowship on Women’s Outreach and announce grace@saa-women.org
  • 130 women received the updated email list
  • Grace email received 30 emails monthly.
  • May 2007
  • Safe Room for Women’s only SAA meetings
  • Women’s Outreach Committee developed
  • Workgroups developed
  • “Grace List “originated
  • Separate women’s tab on ISO website was created.
  • 2007
  • Website was up and running
  • Women’s pamphlet updated – forwarded to LitCom
  • Averaging 4 emails daily for Grace.
  • Women from other countries added to Grace list.
  • “Dear Grace” column stated in the ISO Newsletter the PBR.
  • May 2008
  • Approval of a Women’s Outreach Room at annual conventions.
  • Color lavender was chosen by the WOC for 3 banners (serenity prayer, 12 steps and 12 traditions).
  • WOC sponsored first annual Thursday evening Welcome Reception for women.
  • 2009
  • First women’s only retreat discussed for 2010.
  • Pamphlet “You Can be Part of the Solution – Retaining Women in Meetings” was submitted to LitCom.
  • March 2011
  • 1st Annual International SAA Women’s Retreat
  • 43 women attended.
  • 2011 – Grace List has 241 women participating internationally.
  • September 13, 2012
  • 2nd Annual International SAA Women’s Retreat
  • 15 women attended
  • March 2014
  • 3rd Annual International SAA Women’s Retreat.
  • 30 women attended.
  • September 2015
  • 4th Annual International SAA Women’s Retreat.
  • 56 women attended. 
  • April 2017
  • 5th Annual International SAA Women’s Retreat
  • 25 women attended
  • October 2017
  • WOC is no longer able to sponsor the women’s retreats due to none of the ISO committees can have bank accounts as per the nonprofit status.
  • 2018 
  • Discussion initiated for WOC to support the development of a Women’s Intergroup.
  • WOC voted in supporting the development of a Women’s Intergroup.
  • An email was developed to assist in the forming of the intergroup.
  • April 2018 Women’s Intergroup was formed
  • WOC voted to donate their treasury to the Women’s Intergroup.
  • 2020
  • WOC continues with the Grace List, the Grace Column, pamphlets, booklets, workshops for conventions, the WOC outreach room at conventions, and many other services to meet the needs of women in SAA.
  • As of the end of June the Grace List has 469 women – 12 countries
  • WIG will sponsor the women’s retreats, workshops, helping women with finances in attending conventions, retreats, and offer services to meet the needs of women in SAA.
  • August 8th and 9th WIG hosted their first retreat which was virtual with over 300 women registered.

What is your perception of the history of women in SAA?

What message do you want to carry to other women in SAA?

What do you want to give back to the women in SAA?

What do you want to do to be a part of the history of women in SAA?

WOC    womensoutreach@saa-recovery.org

              grace@saa-women.org

WIG      SaaWomensIG@gmail.com

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