The 13th Step (AA)

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The 13th Step (AA)

The Sober Truth - CBS News

The episode is about a young woman who was killed by her boyfriend. He was arrested for domestic violence a few weeks earlier, she bailed him out, and they continued to live together in her condo.

Her family has filed a lawsuit against AA because they failed to notify those who attended meetings there might be people there who have violent criminal pasts and/or are there by court order. Among members there is something known as the "13th step"

"There's something called the 13th Step that is this harassment. It's any sort of unwanted sexual advance. And it's gone on in AA from the beginning of time," said Glaser.

"13th step is like you see someone that comes in. She's vulnerable. She's little weak in the mind. She doesn't have a lotta strength," Dos Santos explained.

Documentary filmmaker Monica Richardson was in AA for 36 years. It was that concern over safety issues that compelled her to leave. She says 13th Stepping is "a huge problem" and is so common, she's now making a film about it.

"And the members who are going there are not safe?" Maher asked.

"No. They're not safe," said Richardson.

Thus the family's position is that had she been properly informed by the organization AA, she would still be alive.

What do you think? Does AA have any responsibility in her death? Should they be required to disclose at meetings that some members may be violent and under court-order to attend?

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I have family members in AA and although it has been great for helping with drinking problems, it does have issues. I do not think they should be held liable for this issue I believe that the organization could do more to inform members of the dangers that can come from attending meeting.

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AA has no responsibility in this woman's death. AA is very clear about not establishing new relationships, with anyone other than your sponsor, on the path to sobriety. You're supposed to focus on yourself and your recovery. You're also supposed to avoid making big changes unless you absolutely have to. Moving out on her own was probably her worst decision because she left her safety net and her support system at just the time when she needed them most. And she absolutely should have known that someone she met at AA might not be the best boyfriend material because, let's be honest, people who are there at AA are there precisely *because* they're not a nice person when they're drunk. AA shouldn't have to spell that out any more than they already do. People need to take responsbility for their own decisions, and sadly, Karla Mendez Barda made some really bad ones, and so did the guy who killed her, but I can't see how or why AA should be more responsible than either of them.

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I do not really know anything about AA, but this sounds a little like sueing MD because their coffee was too hot.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I do not really know anything about AA, but this sounds a little like sueing MD because their coffee was too hot.

The MD case was totally different. For starters, the company had been warned repeatedly they needed to lower the temperature of their coffee. They had settled something like 700 lawsuits resulting from injuries due to the temperature of the coffee. This one of those cases where the media spun it so much in McDonald's favor that the facts are often overlooked.

Did you notice that in 1992, McDonald's served coffee around 185 degrees and now it's about 30 degrees cooler? Yes, it's supposed to be hot but not hot enough to melt your skin.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

The MD case was totally different. For starters, the company had been warned repeatedly they needed to lower the temperature of their coffee. They had settled something like 700 lawsuits resulting from injuries due to the temperature of the coffee. This one of those cases where the media spun it so much in McDonald's favor that the facts are often overlooked.

Did you notice that in 1992, McDonald's served coffee around 185 degrees and now it's about 30 degrees cooler? Yes, it's supposed to be hot but not hot enough to melt your skin.

I understand what you are saying, and I have heard very compelling arguments for that case. However, I more meant it in a way that you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Common sense tells you that if you spill hot water you are going to burn yourself. Common sense should also tell you that you should thoroughly check out anyone that you are going to date.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Common sense should also tell you that you should thoroughly check out anyone that you are going to date.

And that's another part of the problem with dating someone you meet in AA. You might not know who they really are, because AA allows them to be as anonymous as they want to be. You can't check out anyone if you don't know their last name, or their real first name.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I understand what you are saying, and I have heard very compelling arguments for that case. However, I more meant it in a way that you need to take responsibility for your own actions. Common sense tells you that if you spill hot water you are going to burn yourself. Common sense should also tell you that you should thoroughly check out anyone that you are going to date.

Yes, if I spill hot coffee, I expect to burn myself. I do not expect to have my skin melt and need skin grafts as a result. She was found to be partially responsible 25%?) and McDonald's was found to be responsible for the rest.

As for dating, I agree. When SO and I watched the episode we were talking about all the other places you could meet someone that had a violent past. They don't warn you in church that some members may be convicted felons , or at your job, gym, bar, or school. It just seem like needing a warning label on AA puts it kind of backwards.

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I do recommend when in counseling to do so with members of the same gender.. I think this would help some of these issues.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

I do recommend when in counseling to do so with members of the same gender.. I think this would help some of these issues.

Because no one could ever sexually or otherwise harass a member of their own gender?

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"blather" wrote:

Because no one could ever sexually or otherwise harass a member of their own gender?

Just checking you understand the word "some". I assume you do and are just being antagonistic.