This December, the prevention department is focused on a common holiday theme: peace. This month’s Taking Flight theme is PEACE of mind and coincidentally, we have started to incorporate curriculum from the nonprofit, Peace Over Violence into our groups. Their curriculum empowers teens to have healthy relationships and equips teens with the tools they need to choose peace over violence in their interpersonal relationships and communities.
Our work as prevention educators allows us to hold space for conversations on how to change our cultural and social norms so that we can live in a community where violence no longer exists. Our goal is to foster peace and non-violence in young people so that they may practice healthy relationships free from abuse. Through our discussions, we aim to prevent youth from resorting to acts of violence or abuse as a means to dominate and control others. Additionally, we can re-educate those youth who have already begun to exhibit the effects of abuse and violence in their own relationships. With these ideas, communities are able to build skills and knowledge to govern their lifestyles and grow toward peaceful actions and mindsets.
Violence is not inevitable—it is preventable. Communities and families must work in conjunction with violence prevention programs to provide positive, peaceful futures for our young people. All of us have a responsibility to support healthy coping mechanisms or protective factors, that help people deal more effectively with stress. Young people are capable of recognizing and utilizing these protective factors, but we have a duty to be a resource as well. Prevention work is crucial to the empowerment of people in our communities where we create violence-free, peaceful relationships and environments.
Peace Over Violence is a community-based nonprofit committed to “building healthy relationships, families and communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence.” Click on their image above to visit the Peace Over Violence website.
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