Four ways to create communities where people feel supported, valued and free from harm.
- Reach out to someone in need of support
If a friend or family member is acting differently or seems sad, agitated or fearful, it’s okay to check in with them by asking, “How are things going?” If they respond that they are facing a major challenge, an obstacle or traumatic experience actively listen, believe them and offer supportive reassurance. Ask, “How can I best support you?”
When we look out for one another and check in with friends and family, we help them feel supported and safe and let them know we value and respect them.
- Speak out against harmful language/behavior
Most people don’t want to make others uncomfortable and don’t want to say things that are offensive. If someone you know says a demeaning or hurtful comment or joke, your response could be, “Why do you think that is funny”, “Not cool, man” or “Did you really mean that?”
When we call people out for their harmful language and behaviors, they have an opportunity to realize what they are saying/doing is not the norm.
- Build respectful relationships based on honesty, trust and open communication
Respectful relationships include open/honest communication, equality, mutual respect/trust, enjoying personal time away from each other, making mutual choices and financial autonomy.
When we build respectful relationships, we show that we care about the well-being, concerns, hopes and aspirations of people in our lives. Respectful relationships help people feel safe, supported and able to reach their full potential.
- Connect, participate and share
Choose to get more deeply involved with your community, meet new people and gain a greater sense of belonging. Attend local events, join clubs, volunteer for nonprofits or youth sports. Share a special skill with a group of friends – art, music, cooking or a specific interest like genealogy.
When you become more involved with your community, you help create a more resilient community that protects the health and well-being of each of its community members. Resilient communities are more likely to be safe and thriving communities.
Together we can create safe and thriving communities where all people
- are free from harm;
- feel safe, supported and believed;
- know they are valued and respected; and
- are able to realize their full potential.
We can all do our part to create a more resilient, compassionate community.
To learn about creating a safe and thriving environment in your business, organization or community, contact the Violence Prevention Coordinator at