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Guiding Principles

We believe…

Principle 1: 

CULTIVATING POSITIVE SOLUTIONS TO ENDING/PREVENTING ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACEs) including sexual and domestic violence, and child abuse, is at the heart of all we do.

We believe everyone is affected by ACEs. ACEs are very costly, and have 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 ACEs.

Principle 2: 

COLLABORATION is Vital to Success.

COLLABORATION is Vital to Success. We believe that we must all work together to create a world where safety, equity 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 Contributes to 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 is social change.

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 Model

Principle 5: 

RESPECT is the Norm.

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 everything!

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 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 RESPONSIBILITY (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: 


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: 


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: 

We believe, support and promote empathy for those victimized today, tomorrow and forever.

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 re-occurrence 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. We are committed to cultivating a culture where those harmed and harming others feel safe to come forward.

Principle 13: 

we are referral agents and are committed to promoting community resources.

PROMOTING COMMUNITY RESOURCES for those harmed, harming and witnesses are essential to breaking the cycle of 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: 


We believe and research confirms the opposite of SAFETY, EQUITY 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.