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Guiding Principles

We believe…

Principle 1: 

PROMOTING POSITIVE SOLUTIONS TO ENDING SEXUAL VIOLENCE including child sexual abuse is at the heart of all we do.

We believe everyone is affected by sexual violence. Sexual violence it is very prevalent, especially among young people, and has life-long and generational consequences. We believe the solution is about empowering resilient youth to cultivate a world where everyone is safe and treated equally with respect. This is a world free from sexual violence. We believe it takes everyone to achieve this vision.

Principle 2: 

COLLABORATION is Vital to Success.

We believe that we must all work together to create a world where safety, equality and respect (SER) are norms. We are committed to developing and sustaining strong partnerships with individuals and organizations. Cooperation ensures more youth are served as there will not be a duplication of services.

Principle 3: 

A HEALTHY ORGANIZATION Brings About Positive Change.

We believe that diverse perspectives strengthen our work and that all our efforts should reflect our guiding principles. We believe that our team members (staff, peer educators and the Board) are the core strength of our organization. We value them highly as individuals and for the contribution they make to cultivating SER and preventing harm to others and self. We are committed to creating and sustaining a healthy, diverse organization in which to work and to foster the personal and professional growth and development of our team members.

Principle 4: 

PRIMARY PREVENTION AND POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE Should Be Emphasized.

We believe primary prevention (stopping the problem before it happens) is the best form of positive social change. We are committed to cultivating the change in individuals, relationships, communities and society and creating climates that promote relationships based on mutual respect, equality and trust. Dahlberg & Krug 2002 – Ecological Mode

Principle 5: 

RESPECT is the Preferred Social Norm.

We believe that human behavior can be viewed along a continuum from respect for the individual at one end to violence at the other. We are committed to promoting movement away from violence and toward respect for self, others and the planet

Principle 6: 

IDENTITY RESPECT is Fundamental.

We believe that valuing an individual’s identity is a key to peace and unity. Devaluing others desensitizes us to the humanness of one another and engenders harmful behaviors. We are committed to promoting respect for individual differences in thought, word and deed, and employing methods and educational materials that are relevant to the diversity represented in ourselves, families, schools and communities. We actively address oppression as a means of ending harm to others and self

Principle 7: 

WE ARE ALL PEERS, WE ARE ALL THE SOLUTION.

 We believe it takes everyone, everywhere, every day to cultivate safety, equality and respect as norms to prevent the root causes of harm.  Young people and families with special needs including those identifying with having a traumatic brain injury are included as equal partners.  Everyone deserves to be safe and treated equally with respect

Principle 8:

SAFE BYSTANDER RESPONSIBITY (SRB) is about everyone, everywhere, every day speaking up when they feel safe if they see or hear anything that is not ok.

We believe SRB is an effective means to promoting positive social change and ending harm. We advocate for those harmed with empathy and compassion. We demonstrate our beliefs in thoughts, words and actions.

Principle 9: 

LIFE LONG LEARNING IS ESSENTIAL.

 We believe that positive social change requires early and lifelong learning and support. We are committed to planting and cultivating the seeds of knowledge and understanding that will grow into healthy attitudes and behaviors forever. We will stand up for our young people as they grow into confident and loving adults. We will strive always to be deserving of their trust.

Principle 10: 

PEER APPROACHES to Change Are Central.

We believe that peer education, modeling and mentoring are powerful tools for cultivating positive social change. We are committed to peer-based programming that empowers youth to build resiliency, foster respect and address the factors that cause and contribute to harm to others and self. We are all Peers, We are all the Solution

Principle 11: 

EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACHES are Employed.

We believe in the utilization of curricula-based education and methods that are evidence-based, asset-driven and demonstrate effective short, intermediate, and long term change in knowledge, attitude and behavior. We are committed to utilizing approaches, methods, and interventions that are grounded in sound theory and current research and that is relevant for the audiences with whom we work. We use methods that are consistent with learning principles and we are committed to evaluating the results of our work and seeking new ways to enhance our effectiveness

Principle 12: 

EMPATHY AND SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS VICTIMIZED Needs to Be Promoted.

We believe that individuals are not responsible for the violence perpetrated upon them. We are committed to advocating for and promoting non-judgment, respect and empathy for individuals who have been harmed. We believe that individuals who have been hurt need information, services and support to reduce the subsequent harmful effects including the probability of reoccurrence of the abuse or violence. We do what we can to assist those harmed to acquire resources and whatever else they need to feel safe, respected, validated and valued.

Principle 13: 

ACCOUNTABILITY is Integral to Everything We Do.

We believe that individuals who commit violence are responsible for their actions and are the only ones who can prevent that act. We are committed to ending the cycle of harm by enforcing accountability and support for those who perpetrate violence.  We work to link those who engage in violent acts to services to prevent future harm.

Principle 14: 

MEDIA is a powerful tool to cultivate positive social change.

We believe that the portrayal of violence in the media is a root condition contributing to the normalization harm in our homes, schools, workplaces and communities. We are committed to addressing the negative effects of violence in all forms of media with positive examples. “90% of behavior is learned through modeling.” Pathways to Peace, V. LaCerva

Principle 15: 

ROOT CAUSES OF HARM MUST BE ADDRESSED AND ELIMINATED.

We believe and research confirms the opposite of SAFETY,EQUALITY AND RESPECT are Oppression, Silence/Denial and Normalized Harm (OSN). These are the root causes of harm we are working to prevent child abuse, sexual, family, gang and gun violence, substance abuse, poor school performance, homelessness, eating disorders, poverty, depression, suicide, self-harm, criminality, teen pregnancy, bullying and harassment.