Pennsylvania’s Fearless support meetings are free and take place on the second Saturday of each month. They run from 4:00-5:30 and are open to anyone who is affected by PA’s registry (this includes registrants, family, and friends), and those who live in neighboring states who regularly travel to PA. We use a 12-step and 12-tradition inspired format.
We aim to create a safe environment free from law enforcement or treatment professionals. This is a place to vent and connect with people “who get it.”
Other support group meetings suggest attending a minimum of 6 times before deciding if it’s a good fit for you. Each meeting is different, and we are confident you will find something helpful and applicable with continued attendance. We also look forward to how your experiences and knowledge will enrich our discussions and community. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you might have to the Fearless facilitator at email@example.com.
To all: In order to maintain the positive atmosphere that we have cultivated, all members must agree to abide by our group’s courtesies and traditions. These are in place to ensure that everyone feels respected, heard, and welcomed so that we can create and maintain a safe space to share and find support. Below is a summary of some key points from the courtesies and traditions that will continue to be shared and read at the beginning of every Fearless meeting.
Here are our general rules:
- No Personal Legal Advice/Discussion: Fearless is NOT a forum to discuss personal legal battles, claim innocence and unfair sentencing (except, of course, the unfair registry!), etc.
- Check-in: Everyone is encouraged to “check-in” (a brief share on what you are dealing with currently), but shares should proceed to discussion on the topic of the month.
- Limits on Complaining: Fearless is not for talking about charges; it’s about talking about how to move forward toward a full life despite the adverse circumstances of SO law and policy. It’s about support — not moaning and groaning. Again, talking about challenges is fine, but moaning about it all of the time or seeking validation or attention from others is inappropriate.
- No crosstalk. Crosstalk is defined as giving advice to others who have already shared their stories, referencing another person’s share, or telling someone what they should do.
- To avoid crosstalk: Avoid giving advice or counseling during the meeting. We use “I” language, not “you,” “we,” or “they.” So, instead of telling someone, “You should ,” what you might share instead is, “I had a similar experience, and what was helpful for me was __.” You may ask the person if you can follow up after the meeting.
- Crosstalk can also include interrupting the person who is speaking or asking them a question directly & unexpectedly. Do not call people out by name or talk to anyone directly during group. This includes side conversations between members. If you need clarification on something that was shared (a lawyer’s contact information, a housing resource, etc.), use the chat function. These types of conversations should take place in private – do not use the whole group time for this. Be respectful of everyone’s time and participation.
- Respect Everyone’s Time: Shares must be kept by the limit set by the facilitator based on the total number of attendees. Everyone should have a chance to share. If you would like to share longer, please wait to share again until everyone has had a chance to share for the first time. It is important to remember that periods of silence do not mean that no one else wants to share, this is a good time for reflection, and you should use it as such. Our facilitator(s) will be keeping track of who shares.
- A brief introduction is mandatory if you want to stay for the meeting and should include your name and some identifier. For example, “Hi, I’m Ashley. I’m a person forced to register living in Pittsburgh. I’ve recently completed my supervision/probation.” This introduction should be very short (10-15 seconds), and is done to ensure the safety of all participants.
- This is a SAFE SPACE, and we generally do not allow professionals, parole or probation, therapists, etc. It is only for registrants and their loved ones (friends/family). If you do not introduce yourself, you will be removed. Note: This does not mean you have to share during open-share; these are two different things.
PLEASE NOTE: While we hope that everyone will adhere to these rules and guidelines willingly, it is important to address instances where rules are broken. As a reminder, the Fearless group facilitators reserve the right to mute those who violate the rules. If you repeatedly violate the group’s rules, you will be removed for the duration of the meeting and may be removed from future attendance.
SIGN UP FOR UPCOMING FEARLESS MEETINGS
You can view our upcoming meetings on the event calendar.
Fearless generally meets on the 2nd Saturday of the Month at 4 p.m. Eastern Time for 90 minutes.
Occasionally, the meeting date is changed to accommodate facilitator’s availability/work schedule.
CONTACT OUR FACILITATORS
Lead Facilitator: Ashley – firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Facilitator: Josiah – email@example.com
Co-Facilitator: Theresa – firstname.lastname@example.org
Registrar & Assistant Facilitator: John – email@example.com