Safety Statement

SLAAvirtual Intergroup, Inc has adopted the following statement in November 2023.

Tradition Five states: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the Sex and Love Addict who still suffers.”

Any person seeking help with a sex and love addiction is welcome in this group. No SLAA entity determines an individual’s membership in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. It is this group’s conscience that if any person endangers another individual or disrupts the group’s efforts to carry SLAA’s message, the group may ask that person to leave.

This group strives to safeguard the anonymity of SLAA members and attendees; however, keep in mind that anonymity in SLAA is not a cloak for unsafe or illegal behaviour. Addressing such behaviour and/or contacting the proper authorities when appropriate, does not go against any SLAA Tradition and is meant to ensure the safety of all in attendance.

Tradition One states: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon S.L.A.A. unity.” Recognizing the importance of group unity, our group strives to create a safe environment in which addicts can focus on achieving sobriety and recovery.

  • Safety is a topic within SLAA that groups and members can address. Developing workable solutions to help keep our groups and meetings safe can be based on the principles of SLAA.
  • In discussions about safety, keep the focus on
    • our primary purpose,
    • our common welfare, and
    • placing principles before personalities.
  • Bullying, predatory behaviours and unwanted sexual or emotional advances are in conflict with carrying the SLAA message of recovery and with SLAA principles.
  • The only requirement for SLAA membership is a desire to stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction. Groups and members strive to create a safe environment for the addict who still suffers

Adapted from the AA Safety Card

Additional Reading

Safety Procedure

Although online recovery spaces like Zoom and WhatsApp can be physically safer than in-person meetings, serious incidents of online harassment, cyber-bullying and abuse can still occur.

Unfortunately too, there are predators who will join an online group from time to time in an effort to scam member(s) financially, pick up or possibly to attack an unsuspecting member.

  1. Our Groups are never a place to act out. Anyone subjected to bullying, harassment, inappropriate unwanted sexual or emotional advances and/or other abuse should report the incident to your Admin or other trusted servant immediately.
  2. Take timely action that includes the realistic warning to the offending person that illegal behaviour will be reported to the police and pursued by the group.
  3. Stay in reality not denial of the extent of the situation BUT stay out of drama.
  4. It is the responsibility of volunteers from the group to handle this as trusted servants on a timely basis.
  5. Two members should approach the individual and acknowledge the alleged behaviour really shows how unmanageable our addiction can be.
  6. Assure the person that the group wants to help them with recovery, and will do so.
  7. However, it needs to be said with caring: “This behaviour is unacceptable. We want to help you, but if the behaviour continues, we will have no choice except to remove you from our group and/or report it to the police. Everyone who comes to our meeting, sincerely looking for help will get it. Both men and women must be safe. Please consider carefully what we have said before you return to the group or meeting.”
  8. Immediate action is necessary and so the group does not require a “formal meeting” to acquire a formal “group conscience.”
  9. The offender might enjoy getting lots of attention and therefore a simple communication by two members with good recovery in SLAA is better.
  10. One person should not take it upon themselves to handle this alone.
  11. Some of the leaders of the group, current and former officers, sponsors and/or long timers in program should help.
  12. Although business meetings and group conscience are very important for many decisions, some things are better dealt with discreetly by a few trusted servants.

Zoom Safety

For detailed recommendations on securing Zoom meetings, including meeting setups, delegating responsibility, and responding to “Zoombombers,” SLAA Los Angeles offers this guidance:

  • Digital Security Suggestions — This document details the responsibilities of the Virtual Host, who acts as gatekeeper and monitor for the meeting. It also gives suggestions for managing and rotating meeting passwords.
  • Zoom Meetings: Protecting Anonymity & Security Settings — A detailed list of meeting settings to protect the meeting and participants’ anonymity.
  • The Zoom Security Guide by Thom R. of Alcoholics Anonymous — A very detailed guide with a lot of lived experience. One unique suggestion Thom makes is that requiring users to log into Zoom (which they can do for free) offers more protection than setting passcodes for meetings. This method keeps attendees anonymous within the meeting while still accountable to Zoom.

Tips from our Members

Recently there have been some disturbing incidents of a member attending online meetings and acting out on the meetings, also taking down contact details and contacting people inappropriately outside the meeting. This person has also been abusive on one of the WhatsApp groups.

This has been upsetting for many individuals and of course makes everyone feel unsafe. Please be warned of the possibility of this person doing this again.

Of course, each group conscience must deal with these risks how they see fit but here are some of the measures some meetings have put in place in order to safeguard their meetings:

  • 12 stepping new members on the phone before they can attend the meeting for the first time
  • Making sure each attendee introduces themselves at the beginning
  • Having the host of the meeting ready to get someone disruptive off the meeting
  • Making sure personal details such as phone numbers are not visible
  • With a WhatsApp group, making sure there is someone responsible for admin to deal with things swiftly and block the member if need be

I hope you may find some of these useful, and if you have any other suggestions that your meeting uses that may be useful to others, please share.