The General Service Office has made this optional card available as an A.A. service piece for in-person/online groups that wish to use it. Please feel free to utilize, choose a section(s) or adapt the text to your group’s needs. Tradition Five states: Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers. Any person seeking help with a drinking problem is welcome at this group. No A.A. entity determines an individual’s membership in Alcoholics Anonymous. It is this group’s conscience that if any person endangers another individual or disrupts the group’s efforts to carry A.A.’s message, the group may ask that person to leave the meeting. This group strives to safeguard the anonymity of A.A. members and attendees; however, keep in mind that anonymity in A.A. is not a cloak for unsafe and illegal behavior. Addressing such behavior and/or contacting the proper authorities when appropriate, does not go against any A.A. Traditions and is meant to ensure the safety of all in attendance. The short form of Tradition One states: “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.” Recognizing the importance of group unity, our group strives to create a safe meeting environment in which alcoholics can focus on achieving sobriety. Service Material from the General Service Office Additional Sharing: • Safety is a topic within A.A. that groups and members can address. Developing workable solutions to help keep meetings safe can be based on the principles of A.A.

In discussions about safety, keep the focus on our primary purpose, our common welfare, and placing principles before personalities.

• Predatory behaviors and unwanted sexual advances are in conflict with carrying the A.A. message of recovery and with A.A. principles.

• A.A. does not provide medical advice or detox services; it has no opinion on outside issues, including medication. Medical advice should come from a qualified physician.

• The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking. Groups and members strive to create a safe environment for the alcoholic who still suffers.

• If safety concerns arise, individuals can speak with a sponsor, members of the group, a trusted friend and/or a professional to address the concern.

• Service entities, such as areas, districts and intergroup/central offices, are available to help provide A.A. services and shared experience. All groups and entities in A.A. are autonomous. There is no government within A.A. and no central authority to control or direct its members, but we do share our experience, strength and hope.

For more information on this topic, see the service piece “Safety and A.A.: Our Common Welfare” (SMF-209) at

Rev. 4/22  / F-211

Newcomers International Group AA 

The Newcomers International group has, in accordance with AA Guidelines, created suggestions for helping the group foster a safe and welcoming environment that will allow us to fulfill our primary purpose stated in Tradition 5: To carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers, and to uphold Tradition 1: That our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity. When this unity is threatened, the group suffers and could die, and thus is not available to the individual.

The group has appointed a Safety Committee to handle issues as they come up and make decisions based on AA Traditions, AA Group Guidelines and AA Guidelines for Safety and Personal Conduct. Links to this AA documentation are provided below.

The following guidelines are recommended for the welfare of the group:

Inside the WhatsApp Group

The NCIG Service WhatsApp group is to discuss service issues Only. If any actions here or elsewhere create a problem for you, or if you have a problem with any other member of the group, or the group itself, you are asked to:

  1. Discuss your concern with the concerned group member personally and avoid posting any unnecessary comments in the group chat. Remember, we are all suffering alcoholics and dealing with our own character defects to grow and establish a happy healthy life. We are learning a new way of life in AA, where kindness, honesty, understanding & respect of others is a priority to keep the group safe & ensure the continuity of our fellowship
  2. If the problem wasn’t resolved, you are kindly requested to escalate it to the group Safety Committee & wait for their decision
  3. Allow safety committee 10 days to investigate the matter and come up with an acceptable solution based on AA foundations

Group Members

The Publication “Guidelines for AA” Chapter on Personal Conduct states: “Members have a right to expect that they will be reasonably safe at a Group meeting. It is the responsibility of the Group holding the meeting, through its members and leaders, to ensure that no member or visitor is subjected to or experiences bullying, harassment or offensive behavior of any kind. “

When one member of the group behaves repeatedly or consistently in a way that is disruptive or abusive, it prevents the group from fulfilling its purpose and affects the common welfare of the group (Traditions 5 and 1).

At the Meeting

Newcomers International suggests the following guidelines in the meeting to ensure safety is adhered to at all times:

  1. Drinking & Sharing when being drunk is prohibited in our meeting not only to protect the group, but to help the person when intoxicated any embarrassment
  2. Deaccent dress code is appreciated in the meeting out of respect to all members.
  3. Racism/ Extremism / Discrimination / Bullying /Profanity is opposed by all means. If a member shows any signs, banners, backgrounds that reflects the above, they will be removed from the meeting & reported to Zoom
  4. Children under 16 years of age are not allowed in the meeting for their safety

AA Open Meeting statement describes AA’s “singleness of purpose” which suggests “we ask that all who participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol.” If a person shares about other substances or behaviors, they may be reminded of the singleness of purpose.

When Problems Arise

If a member violates suggestions, the member may be temporarily removed from the WhatsApp Group or NCIG group meetings while the problem is being investigated by the group Safety Committee.

The document “AA Guidelines for Great Britain: Personal Conduct” quoted below list a series of suggestions that may be taken by the Safety Committee. If all measures fail to correct the situation, a member may be expelled from the home group for a period of time. This doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot attend the AA meeting as long as they are not disruptive or it doesn’t create a safety problem for another member, but it’s possible they may not be part of the home group or participate in service or fellowship within the home group.

NCIG is an international meeting. Sometimes phrases used in one country may be considered offensive in another country. Give people the benefit of the doubt and remember that alcoholics are sensitive people.

Please review the following AA Literature and Guidelines to learn more:

  1. Safety and AA: Our Common Welfare.

A.A.’s 1st Tradition states in its long form, “Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”

It is hoped that our common suffering as alcoholics and our common solution in A.A. will transcend most issues and curtail negative behaviors that could jeopardize the safety of anyone attending an A.A. meeting. Nevertheless, Alcoholics Anonymous is a microcosm of the larger society we exist in.

As such, problems found in the outside world can also make their way into the rooms of A.A. For this reason, groups and members discuss the topic of safety — to raise awareness in the Fellowship and to seek through sponsorship, workshops, and meetings, to create as safe an environment as possible to carry A.A.’s message of hope and recovery to the still-suffering alcoholic.

  1. GUIDELINES for A.A. in Great Britain

Behavior Issues…

Bullying, harassment and offensive behavior are negative and unacceptable forms of discrimination that are in conflict with the AA Traditions and our way of life in recovery. Any such behavior needs to be taken seriously, and sober AA members must deal with it as it arises. Whether or not the behavior is intended to be hurtful is irrelevant, the important point is that it is offensive. AA members, within their Groups, need to recognize the power of their behavior in their relationships with other members of the Fellowship and with potential newcomers. Members in recovery will understand that the behavior we choose to adopt influences others. Recognizing that we can control our behavior, we have a responsibility to set a good example.

Members have a right to expect that they will be reasonably safe at a Group meeting. It is the responsibility of the Group holding the meeting, through its members and leaders, to ensure that no member or visitor is subjected to or experiences bullying, harassment or offensive behavior of any kind.

3. Publications for Further Information

a. Safety and AA: Our Common Welfare

b. Pamphlet “Violence and Personal Conduct” which includes discussion about bullying

c. Disruptive Members at AA Meetings
AA Newsletter Box 450 Fall 20210 page 4

d. Guidelines for A.A. in Great Britain – Safeguarding and Personal Conduct

e. Bullying and Harassment