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.

    • 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.

Reclaiming Your Power: Art Therapy Group (English Flyer)

How do you experience your own power? YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is hosting an 8-week group for adult survivors of sexual assault/abuse who are interested in exploring themes of power and control through art making and skill building.

In a safe, non-judgmental, and supportive space, join other survivors in:

  • Exploring how trauma and assault can contribute to feeling powerless
  • Learning how to represent ideas and feelings through artwork
  • Acknowledging and reclaiming sources of existing power
  • Visualizing ways to understand and access desired forms of power

No art experience necessary. This group is open to survivors of all sexual orientations and all gender identities.

Where: YWCA RISE Center
When: Wednesdays, October 17th to December 5th, 6:30 pm -8:00 pm
Cost: Free

If you are interested in joining, contact Aviva Rosenberg at 312.762.2729 or Trissa Dodson at 312.762.2161. Spots are limited. Please RSVP by October 10, 2018.

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 the 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 judgment 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.

Let’s Talk About Sex: Two-Part Series Workshop for Survivors of Sexual Violence (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is hosting a two-part series workshop on sex and sexuality for adult survivors of sexual violence.

This workshop will be a safe, supportive space where you can join other survivors in gathering practical knowledge and skills, such as:

  • Learning to identify and create healthy boundaries
  • Identifying and addressing triggers related to sex and intimacy
  • Defining consent and developing consensual communication
  • Practice giving and receiving consent

Participants are required to attend both workshop sessions.

The workshop is open to adult survivors of both childhood and adult sexual abuse, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Where: Coleman Library, 731 E. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60637
When: Mondays, November 19th & November 26th, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Cost: Free

Spots are limited and attendance to both sessions is required. If you are interested in attending, contact Imelda Guerra at 312.762.2717 or Yurianna Reyes at 312.762.2729. RSVP by November 12, 2018.

Let’s Talk About Sex: Two Workshops for Survivors of Sexual Violence (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is hosting a series of 2 workshops on sex and sexuality for adult survivors of sexual violence. Participants are highly encouraged to attend both workshops sessions.

The focus of the workshops will be:

  • Learning to identify and create healthy boundaries
  • Identifying and addressing triggers related to sex and intimacy
  • Defining consent and developing consensual communication
  • Practice giving and receiving consent

The workshop is open to any adult survivor of sexual trauma, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Where: YWCA Cynthia B. Lafuente Center
When:  Mondays, December 10th & December 17th, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Cost: Free

Spots are limited. Please RSVP by December 7, 2018 by contacting Alexandria Champagne at 312.229.7251 or Adrianne Harkless at 312.762.2778.

Stress Reduction: Holiday Workshop (English Flyer)

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is hosting a 2-day workshop on coping with holiday stress. The workshop will focus on:

  • Learning effective ways to cope with the holidays
  • Creating a holiday plan to navigate the holidays smoothly
  • Practicing coping mechanisms to reduce stress

Members will be empowered to discuss, develop and practice effective coping skills through the use of creative expression. Day 1 of the workshop will begin with identifying concerns related to the holidays, then learning effective coping skills, and culminating in the creation of a plan to navigate the holidays. Day 2 of the workshop will begin by discussing which strategies worked during Thanksgiving and how to improve for the end-of-the-year holidays.

Where: YWCA Patterson & McDaniel Family Center
When: November 19th and December 3rd
Cost: $30 (both sessions and includes supplies)

Click here to register. If you are interested in attending, contact Gwendolyn Brooks at 630-580-8351.

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.