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.

About the Book

The Thursday Group; A Story and Information for Girls Healing from Sexual Abuse by PeggyEllen Kleinleder and Kimber Evensen, illustrated by Nancy Radtke.

The Thursday Group is designed to make the difficult subject of child sexual abuse a little bit easier for victims and their allies to think about, talk about, and ultimately heal. The book weaves together the story of Abi, a fictional thirteen year old, with non-fictional information about healing from trauma. Abi looks back on the abuse that she experienced as a seventh grader and tells about her journey through confusing times in the company of four girls she meets in her therapeutic support group. The girls learn coping skills, and support each other as the emotions triggered by sexual abuse complicate the normal challenges of young adolescence. Text boxes throughout the book offer helpful tips, straight-forward information and a broad variety of coping strategies.

Created by a nurse and a clinical social worker who are themselves survivors, The Thursday Group focuses more on how to manage difficult emotions and heal from trauma, than on details of abuse.  The story, information boxes, and line drawings work together to help readers process what happened to them while staying grounded in present time.

“I ‘got it’ on a deeper level than other books about sexual abuse I’ve read as an adult. I felt as if the child inside of me was listening.” --Susan, 43, A Survivor  

"The Thursday Group is a resource that has captured our hearts. It is the most compassionate tool I have seen for girls who are in the midst of their journey to healing.  Adolescent females who have experienced sexual abuse find in this book a girl to relate to, words to find comfort in, and helpful coping strategies to practice throughout their journey. It is a perfect balance of education, personal insight, and healing.  We have found that The Thursday Group is not only valuable to young survivors, but also to parents and professionals. Anyone who reads this book will gain a beautiful insight into what it is their child or client is thinking and feeling, thus making us all better supporters of these brave girls. Our Child Advocacy Centers purchased this book in bulk and enthusiastically give it to adolescent female victims, their caregivers, and professionals with whom we work.  We believe that sharing this book with others is a gift that goes a very long way." --Jessica Lawmaster, MSW,  Kenai Peninsula Children's Advocacy Center Coordinator

“I learned a lot from this book.  If it was too graphic I couldn’t have read it.  It was real. It was gentle.” – Rita, 15, A Survivor

“The Thursday Group… should be a part of every therapist’s library, and on the top of the list of recommended books for girls who are recovering from sexual abuse.”  – Robert F Longo, MRC, LPC, author of Paths to Wellness

“This helped me understand what my daughter is dealing with.” –David, 34, A Parent

“I mostly work with American Indian communities. I like the Thursday Group because it explains sexual abuse in a grounded, but informative story. I feel it speaks about sexual abuse in a sensitive but truthful way, which is important because so many American Indian villages are healing from sexual abuse." -Katana Jackson, MSW  Oglala Lakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation