The following information is adapted from Sandra Bloom’s “Creating Sanctuary,” upon which much of The Peace Center’s work is based.
Creating and maintaining safety is a process…a never-ending journey. Everyone who is affected by an unhealthy family environment is also responsible for the creation and maintenance of introducing healthy behaviors. Safety is multi-faceted and comprehensive and requires the following:
- Physical Safety-Children need to know they will be physically safe. Homes must be free of abuse. Creating physical safety necessitates whatever measures it takes to absolutely prohibit violence. It includes a prohibition against the use of physical punishment. Using violence in any form against children carries the message that violence is a way to solve problems and contradicts the prevention of violence.
- Psychological Safety-A psychologically safe environment provides children with the opportunity to establish trusting relationships with adults and other children. Such an environment fosters emotional attachment. Harassment, malicious teasing, put-downs, name-calling and bullying have no place here.
- Social Safety- Social safety refers to the creation and maintenance of an environment that provides the social support and structure within which all members of the system feel safe, nurtured, and respected. Diversity is understood and celebrated. Racism, oppression, and injustices have no place here. Peaceful conflict resolution is the preferred method of solving problems.
- Moral Safety-Moral safety exists in an environment which is relatively free from hypocrisy and which clearly articulates a system of values that everyone in the system is expected to uphold. Rules need to be clear and the same for all. Adults must “walk their talk” and serve as good role models for children.