Group safety guidelines

1. We maintain the confidentiality of the group and respect the stories of participants by not sharing their stories with others without their permission. 

Why is this important? It is important that survivors of trauma have a choice about how, when, and where their stories are told.

2. We offer support and hold space instead of offering advice unless the participant asks for advice. If we relate to another participant's share, we use words like "I resonate with..."

Why is this important? When survivors share their stories, they often experience minimizing or bypassing. Instead of feeling heard and validated, they receive advice on how they can fix themselves. In our community experiences, we want to see, hear, and validate each other's experiences.

3.  We use "I" statements when sharing.

Why is this important? Our goal through community learning experiences is to gain more self-understanding through relationships with other survivors. We share from our experience instead of commenting on other's experiences. 

4. When discussing trauma, we use "headlines" not details.

Why is this important? Details of trauma can be incredibly dysregulating for the group, creating intense feelings of unsafety. In order to maintain a safe environment for all participants, we stick to the headlines of trauma.

5. We are accepting and respectful of participants of all races, genders, sexual orientations, backgrounds, and abilities. 

Why is this important? Minority groups experience trauma at a higher rate than more privileged groups. We create safe spaces for healing by denouncing racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia.