VICE reports on alcoholics anonymous and sexual assault

We have worked long and hard to get the word out in  Mainstream Media. Finally that day has come.

Elizabeth Brown is the journalist.

The Culture of Alcoholics Anonymous Perpetuates Sexual Abuse

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown

Women are encouraged to “look for their part” in what’s happened to them.

still believe in the foundation of AA because it did save my life and help me get sober almost ten years ago,” says Adrian Wilson. She tells me she had been in the program for six years when she met a man at an Alcoholics Anonymous barbecue hosted by her female sponsor. The man asked for her card, saying he could help promote her clothing business. Wilson says she checked with her sponsor as to whether the man was a “safe” person and was told “yes—he’s an elder with 30 years sober.” A few weeks later, Wilson alleges that she went on a bike ride with him and then stopped by his house for waffles where he proceeded to sexually assault her “in every way, shape, and form.”

Wilson says she drove to her sponsor’s house, hysterical, immediately after the rape where her sponsor told her not to call the police or go to the hospital because “everyone in AA will hate [her].” She suggested that instead, Wilson “get on her knees and pray, work the steps, and look for her part in what happened.”

Wilson says she initially trusted her alleged perpetrator because “elders,” those with many years of sobriety in the program, are considered golden in the AA community—highly respected and put on a pedestal. Wilson ultimately decided to press charges and is now awaiting a second trial nearly three years after the alleged incident. Her first case ended in a mistrial this past summer. Wilson states her AA “family” disintegrated quickly when she began speaking out about the alleged attack.

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10 thoughts on “VICE reports on alcoholics anonymous and sexual assault

  1. I attend a AA group that is not like this at all. I’m proud to say that women come there because they feel safe. We have a reputation for being a safe AA group. It is very frustrating to hear about these things going on. I know that they do happened. It’s not right. I purposely keep my distance from any female new comer. I’m only interested in soberity and helping others by sharing my experience. Shame on all these toxic groups and for people using AA as a hook up joint.


  2. I am an active AA member. I have been 13th stepped. I love as not sexually assaulted however. That being said, I see a huge need for guidance for women newly in the program. I gather that this blog is primarily anti-AA, but would the writer contact me with some further thoughts?

    Thank you.


      1. I just wanted to add another comment on here that I forgot to add the last time while commenting.
        And that is that some of the AA members can be manipulative in getting what they want. It’s a toxic environment. Newly sober beware of those 12 step rooms.


    1. Hi, This is somewhat similar to the article on here, but I feel I need to rely this.
      While I was in AA a person whom I thought was my friend it turns out was secretly trying to fix me up with one of her friends. I figured it out. It turns out the phony manipulative friend would invite me over to her & her husbands house for dinner ask me all sorts of questions just to find out if I was single then go relay this back to her friend. Monica you have just touched the tip of the iceberg on the games that these 12 steppers play.
      If the 12 steppers spent as much time on their sobriety as they did trying to find a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife their sobriety statistics would be better than 5% .


  3. Work the steps. That has got to be THE most ignorant thing to say when someone is sexually assaulted. WATCH out people who attend those 12 step meetings the rooms are filled with people who want to get laid! Whether your gay or straight. It’s like once these 12 steppers get sober they act like sex offenders. I stopped going in ’09’ I didn’t feel comfortable. I wanted to share then after the meeting I would get certain people with years of sobriety on my ass to call them, they wanted to get WAY too close to me. I’m like WHOA! I don’t wish to get close to you. Very toxic place AA.


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