Shared Values - Sanctuary Commitments

The Seven Commitments are a set of values that Sanctuary outlines as a way to lead individuals and organisations away from trauma-reactive behaviours.

Nonviolence: we use unconditional care to stay safe and allow others to feel safe
Traumatised people/groups have often experienced violence as part of their trauma, either: physical, psychological, social, moral or cultural. This commitment attempts to give the opposite experience within the community. 

Emotional intelligence: we manage our feelings so we don't hurt ourselves or others
Traumatised people/groups have often experienced insensitivity and disrespect regarding their behaviours or feelings. This commitment creates an environment in which community members understand the relationship between past experiences, emotions and behaviours and are able to respond and react to clients and each other with those relationships in mind. 

Social learning: we are curious and learn from each other and from our difficulties
Traumatised people/groups are often isolated as a way to self-protect and can become engaged in repetitive patterns of thinking and behaviour. This commitment promotes collaborative thinking and problem solving to break dysfunctional and repetitive patterns through exposure to other’s perspectives and ideas. It also mitigates the isolating effects of shame by viewing mistakes as positive learning opportunities. 

Democracy: all voices and views are heard and respected
Many definitions of trauma include an overwhelming sense of helplessness during the event which can lead to learned helplessness in the future. Democracy requires active participation and empowerment in the service of replacing helplessness. 

Open communication: we are honest and say what we mean with kindness
Secrecy is often a component of prolonged exposure to traumatic experiences (i.e. sexual abuse, parental alcoholism). This commitment creates a community that tolerates expression of emotions and openly explores interpersonal and organisational issues. 

Social responsibility: we help each other and take responsibility for our actions
Traumatised people/groups have often experienced injustice either during or in response to reporting a traumatic event. This commitment focuses on building a community in which people feel a sense of responsibility, and care for each other and the group as a whole and in which people are held accountable for their actions.

Growth and Change: we acknowledge loss are open to new ideas and are hopeful for the future
Traumatised people/groups can become paralysed by their experiences so that they continue to relive or repeat the past in ways that prevent healing or growth. This commitment presents a framework to evaluate current behaviours while focusing on the future by setting achievable goals and breaking dysfunctional patterns.