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13th Step

The term “13th step” or “13th stepping” describes a scenario in which a member of a 12 step program, often with more experience and time in the program, develops a romantic or sexual interest in a newcomer who is less experienced and more vulnerable. The 12 step programs’ core values are all violated by this. It may also negatively affect the newcomer’s recovery and weaken the community of support inside the group.

The phrase “13th stepping” basically refers to any activity that takes advantage of a a newcomer in the program and is seen as a grave breach of the mutual trust and respect that is necessary for the success of 12 step programs.

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