The YWCA offers a variety of groups to assist survivors and non-offending family members with healing from the trauma of sexual assault. Clients are able to challenge their feelings of isolation and receive support from peers by participating in group counseling. While specific groups may vary from site to site, groups are typically offered to adult survivors of child sexual abuse, child and teen survivors of sexual violence, and parents. Groups may focus on a specific theme (boundaries, safety, empowerment), may utilize a form of expressive therapy (photography, poetry, art) to engage clients in the healing process, or focus on providing information about sexual assault/abuse and coping skills. Group services are offered regularly across all of our service locations.

Current Support Groups:

In This Together: Monthly Survivor Gathering (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago will be hosting a monthly drop-in meetup space for adult survivors of sexual violence on the second week of every month.
Dates, times, and activities will rotate each month.

Enjoy a safe, supportive environment where you can create community and connection with other survivors.

  • Tuesday, October 9th, 6:00-7:30 pm – DIY T-Shirts
    Laura Parks and Mildred Francis Center, 6600 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
  • Wednesday, November 14th, 6:00-7:30 pm – Arts and Crafts Night
    Cynthia LaFuente Center, 2754 W. Fullerton Ave.
  • December 13th, 6:00-7:30 pm – Board Game Night
    RISE Center, 820 W. Jackson Ave. Suite 550

These gatherings are open to adults who are survivors of childhood and/or adult sexual trauma of any gender and sexual orientation.

Where: See above
When:  Second week of each month
Cost: Free

If you are interested in attending or would like more information, contact Alex Champagne at 312.229.7251. RSVP is encouraged but not required.

Fundamentals of Trauma: Adult Coping Skills Group (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago will be hosting an 8-week coping skills group that teaches participants about the impacts of trauma.  Join us in a safe, supportive space where you can be in community with other survivors. Participants will also learn practical skills to cope with difficult emotions and explore difficulties with implementing and following through with skills you have already learned.

Participants will learn specific tools to help ease challenges related to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Shame/guilt
  • Anger
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Poor concentration
  • Muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Difficult relationships

This group is open to any individual who identifies as a survivor of sexual abuse and/or assault. All interested individuals must complete a screening with staff prior to participating in this group.

Where: TBD
When: Wednesdays, August 29th to October 17th, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Spots are limited. RSVP required by August 20th. If you are interested in attending, please contact Yurianna Reyes at 312.762.2729 or Raliat “Queenie” Adeboyejo at 312.762.2747.

Second Glance: A Workshop Reflecting on Body Image (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago will be hosting a workshop exploring body image for individuals who have experienced sexual violence. This workshop will be a safe, supportive space where you can join other survivors in:

  • Defining body image and the areas of impact (e.g. stature, complexion, weight, self-described unusual physical characteristics, etc.)
  • Identifying healthy and unhealthy experiences with physical appearance
  • Discussing ways to combat negative thoughts that influence body image
  • Learning strategies to cope with body image that encourage positive self-esteem and growth

This workshop is open to survivors of any gender or sexual orientation.

Where: YWCA RISE Center
When: Thursday, September 27th, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Spots are limited. If you are interested in attending, contact Aviva Rosenberg at 312.762.2749 or Andria Lampkin at 312.762.2737. Please RSVP by September 20th.

The Point of Anger: Anger Exploration Group (English Flyer)

Are there barriers to you exploring anger? YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is hosting an 8-week support group for female adults who have experienced sexual violence to help explore feelings of anger.

In a safe, supportive space, join other survivors in:

  • Exploring purposes and benefits of anger
  • Sharing experiences of anger towards self and others
  • Learning about different styles of communicating and expressing anger
  • Creating awareness of the impact of anger
  • Discovering how other emotions contribute to anger
  • Helping to face shame and judgement about feelings
  • Acknowledging less healthy expressions of anger and identifying new coping options

All interested individuals must complete a screening to determine group readiness.

Where: University of Chicago, 5500 S. Ellis Ave
When: Tuesdays, October 23rd to December 11th, 6:00 pm -7:30 pm
Cost: Free

Spots are limited. RSVP required by August 20th. If you are interested in attending, contact Andria Lampkin at 312.762.2737 or Raliat Queenie Adeboyejo at 312.762.2747. Please RSVP by October 17th.

Más Fuertes Juntos: Grupo para Padres/Cuidadores Inmigrantes (Spanish Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago los invita a un grupo creativo en español para padres y cuidadores inmigrantes. El grupo será enfocado en las experiencias de inmigración y cómo estas afectan el cuidado y apoyo de sus hijos que han sobrevivido el abuso sexual.

El grupo ofrecerá un espacio seguro de apoyo para que padres puedan reflexionar sobre sus experiencias, compartir recursos y utilizar medios creativos para procesar temas como:

  • Los factores estresantes en el ambiente político actual
  • El impacto que tienen las diferentes interpretaciones culturales del abuso sexual sobre las familias
  • Los retos de navegar procesos legales siendo un padre inmigrante
  • La separación familiar debido a cuestiones de inmigración y/o abuso sexual infantil
  • Las emociones difíciles relacionadas con el abuso sexual infantil
  • El manejo del autocuidado

Podemos acomodar hasta 8 personas. Por favor de confirmar su participación lo más pronto que pueda.

Donde: YWCA RISE Center
Cuando:  Los jueves, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Fechas del grupo seran determinadas pronto
Costo: Gratis

Si le gustaría participar, por favor de contactar a Gabriela Alvarado (312) 762-2732 o Kelin Hall
(312) 229-7244.

Stronger Together: Group for Immigrant Parents and Caretakers (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago invites you to a creative processing group in Spanish for immigrant parents and caregivers. The group will be focused on immigration experiences and how these affect the care and support of children who have survived sexual abuse.

The group will offer a safe, supportive space for parents to reflect on their experiences, share resources and use creative means to process issues such as:

  • The stressors faced in the current political climate
  • The impact of different cultural interpretations of sexual abuse on families
  • The challenges of navigating legal processes as an immigrant parent
  • Family separation due to immigration issues and/or child sexual abuse
  • Difficult emotions related to child sexual abuse
  • The management of self-care

We can accommodate up to 8 people. Please confirm your participation as soon as you can.

Where: YWCA RISE Center
When:  Thursdays, 12:00pm-1:30pm
Start date to be determined
Cost: Free

If you’d like to participate, please contact Gabriela Alvarado (312) 762-2732 or Kelin Hall
(312) 229-7244.

For more information on support groups being offered at a Chicago area location, please call (312) 733-2102.