Safe Space, Harm Reduction, And Trauma Informed Principles


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Presentation from Paving New Roads: Communities Engaged in Resisting Violence. See for details.

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Safe Space, Harm Reduction, And Trauma Informed Principles

  1. 1. Opportunities for Innovative Anti-Violence Work in Youth Spaces
  2. 2. <ul><li>Envision models of anti-violence work that center the experiences of youth of color, LGBTQ individuals, PIC-impacted folks, and poor people </li></ul><ul><li>To further our understandings of intimate partner violence through an anti-oppression and harm reduction framework </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Drop-In Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>History </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logistics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition of “Success” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Anti-Oppression </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship Building </li></ul><ul><li>Harm Reduction </li></ul><ul><li>Trauma-Informed </li></ul><ul><li>Staff/Team Development </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Integrate the individual and collective understandings of oppression and trauma into individual and group work within the space. </li></ul><ul><li>Link liberation struggles which oppose racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism and all other forms of oppression. </li></ul><ul><li>Safe Space: We recognize that “hate language” is often connected to internalized oppression and experiences with trauma. </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Applications: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Queer It Up! (project-based programming) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Youth inform programming (Do Yr Own Thing, Real Talk) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Confidentiality/Safe Space </li></ul><ul><li>Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations/Limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Threshold of Accessing the Services/Space </li></ul><ul><li>Attitude: Youth workers, adult allies, and safe space brings individuals back to the BYC drop-in program—not necessarily the array of services offered. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Basic Principles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant’s decision is accepted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant is treated with dignity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participant is expected to take responsibility for own behavior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reducing harm not activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No pre-defined outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Traditional abstinence based programs only offer options to those seeking abstinence </li></ul><ul><li>Health, life improvement, housing and empowerment are possible for anyone, not just the sober, abstinent, and those who leave abusive relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Creates relationships of respect and trust that enable greater depth of healing FOR THE LONG RUN </li></ul><ul><li>Offers a “buffet” interventions rather than “one size fits all” </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Safe Space: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants can access the space high or drunk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spectrum of engagement is celebrated. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We always offer an array of basic needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participants can self-select out of programming (Lesson: Compulsory programming does NOT work) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HR informs sexual health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HR informs conversations around involvement in the sex trade and street economies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HR informs Intimate Partner Violence/Violence between participants </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Emphasis on Self Care </li></ul><ul><li>Safety Planning = Skill Building </li></ul><ul><li>Reality Testing </li></ul><ul><li>Reframing </li></ul><ul><li>Normalizing </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Drop In Counseling and Case Management </li></ul><ul><li>Safe Space: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Youth can sleep! </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Regularly explore, share, and generate harm reduction and safety planning strategies and approaches to sexual assault and intimate partner violence in formal and informal settings—as well as issues surrounding transgender issues, the PIC, criminalization, trauma </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Premises: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spectrum of accountability (consequences are often youth-driven, individualized) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deconstruct “hate” language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Normalizing necessity of drugs/weapons during orientation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognizing the possibility of triggers around sexualized behavior. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>We recognize that all youth who access our space are survivors of oppression and trauma—and, therefore, violence. </li></ul><ul><li>We recognize that we can’t simply have a “no perpetrators” policy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many participants have both perpetrated and experienced violence. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Safety plans are participant-driven, allowing participants to define their own experience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using harm reduction to increase accountability and reality test. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Youth leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Struggle between becoming a crisis-driven space versus a space that can absorb crisis </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for one-on-one work exceeds capacity everyday </li></ul>