Hi! My name is Abi and I would like to welcome you to The Thursday Group blog!

If you are looking for support and information about healing from sexual abuse, you have come to a good place. You might have come to this blog because someone you know has been sexually abused or you might be here because you’ve been sexually abused yourself. Either way, you could still have some uncomfortable, difficult, or scary feelings about what happened. It is wonderful that you are looking for more information and support. If you are like me, just thinking about the topic of sexual abuse can be stressful.You may want to take a few minutes right now and notice your breathing. If you are holding your breath, or taking quick shallow breaths, see if you can take a deep breath into your belly, letting your stomach go out as you breath in. When you breath out, just let the air flow out slowly and easily. Take another slow easy breath into your belly, and then let the air flow out slowly. If you want to, slowly take three or four more breaths, making your stomach expand like a balloon each time you breath in, and relax each time you breath out. Inside yourself, just say hello gently to your body and any feelings you are noticing. Look at some of the things that are around you wherever you are. Breathing, and noticing things around you like this, is something I learned about when I was in a support group with four other middle school girls in my town who had been sexually abused. I wrote The Thursday group to hopefully make things easier for others. This blog tells about the book (including messages from the other characters and sample chapters to read or listen to), and where you can order it. You will also find links to other good books and web sites. If you start to notice that your breathing becomes uneven or really fast, or your heart feels like it is pounding in your chest or you get dizzy or feel unreal; please, get up from the computer or iphone, look at the things that are around you, and go find or call that trusted adult. If you don’t have an adult in your life that you can talk to, please call a hotline number.

I am a fictional character, but I was created out of the very real feelings and experiences of the girls PeggyEllen and Kimber used to be, and the girls they have known.

We hope that this blog and book will help you heal.


Need to talk to someone or report abuse? Call: 1-800-4ACHILD or 1-800-422-4458

The person who answers your call can help you figure out what to do and how to get help. If you call from a land line instead of a cell phone, the call will be free and will not show on a phone bill.

Authors and Illustrator

PeggyEllen Kleinleder is a nurse and writer interested in all aspects of healing.  She was born and raised in Alaska.  She received a BS in nursing in 1985 and the following year worked with Fairbanks Women in Crisis Center and schools in Interior Alaska to implement a curriculum on personal safety and domestic violence prevention. In 1988 she moved to Homer with her husband where they raised two their two children, adopted through child protective services. In Homer, PeggyEllen has worked in hospital, school, home, and mental health nursing. She is currently works part time as a diabetes educator and home health nurse. One of PeggyEllen's passions is bringing the topic of sexual abuse out in the open, so that survivors will feel less isolated and have an easier time healing, and so that our society can take action to stop it from happening.

Kimber Evensen is a board certified, licensed clinical social worker and a certified criminal reformation clinician. She loves being a therapist because she gets to witness firsthand the courage and tenacity of people who are struggling through their healing process. It makes her feel honored to be trusted with the most profound stories and memories of both children and adults.

Kimber has two children who remind her daily that her life is full of grace and love. She has lived in a variety of communities in Alaska, including Homer, Fairbanks and Nome. She currently lives in Anchorage, where she provides outpatient therapy to children, youth, and adults, and training and consultation throughout Alaska and in Indian Country. Kimber also wrote a companion guidebook for the Pathway to Hope video, a resource for Native people facilitating community healing from child sexual abuse. Kimber believes that there are many ways of healing, and that connecting with others is one of the most important heart ways of healing that there is.
Nancy Radtke works as an artist, behavioral health aide, and part-time student. Her traditional Native Suqpiaq hertitage influences her drawings, and reflects the ancient drawings found in areas of Alaska such as Kodiak, Prince William Sound, and Lower Cook Inlet. Her artwork has been featured in galleries such as Ptarmigan Arts in Homer. Nancy grew up in the village of Nanwalek, where she currently works and lives with her husband. She has two grown children and one grandchild. Nancy is committed to helping individuals, families, and communities heal from sexual abuse.