Value 2: Safety

Welcome to part 2 of our Summer series; Unwrapping Our Values!  We are spending the summer giving you are an idea of the values that drive our organization and programs, one at a time. We hope you enjoy learning more about the driving force behind Second Shift

2. Safety – We believe that every individual has a human right to actual and perceived safety; physical, emotional, psychological, moral and social

What is safety? Most of us understand physical safety. We know if something endangers our life it is not safe. But what does perceived safety mean? What about emotional, psychological, moral and social safety. What kinds of safety are those?

The definition of safety is;

                   the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.

So protection from physical danger might be proactive avoidance, barriers, rules, laws, and law enforcement. If someone wants to be safe from injury then they would avoid engaging in an activity that could likely lead to an injury. However, there are many of us who dive head first into potentially dangerous activities. Athletes do it routinely. But even in those cases a person may utilize safeguards and limits to provide for safety.

How do we do that emotionally? Well actually its pretty much the same but its not as adaptive when we avoid, create barriers, rules and laws regarding our feelings. But if someone has been emotionally injured they will do what they can to prevent it from happening again. Those mechanisms provide “felt” safety. And that means they feel safe whether they are or are not or even whether there was a threat or not.

When we say that someone has the right to emotional safety we are saying that they have the right to be surrounded by trustworthy and respectful people who will act with kindness, empathy and understanding. They have the right to avoid or cope with, those people and situations who would cause them emotional harm.

We support that right but assisting the youth in first knowing their own needs for safety and second creating boundaries and mechanisms that provide them “felt” safety in their relationships and environment.


  • Physical safety is being safe from physical harm.
  • Emotional safety is FEELING safe from emotional abuse or onslaught
  • Psychological safety refers to an environment when individuals are safe to be themselves and present their thoughts without fear of attack or judgement
  • Moral safety is the safety to express and do what is right without interference or being discouraged from doing right
  • Social safety is the protection offered by civil and human rights. At the individual level it is anti-bullying, at the societal level it is atni-isms.  

Second Shift believes that all people have the right to feel safe to be healthy, whole, at peace, accepted and protected. And most specifically, our clients who have experienced past traumas and have fear of not being safe.

It is our goal to create and present environments of safety where vulnerability is encouraged and rewarded. This value is reflected in our interactions with our clients, our colleagues and all people.

By Tammy Spence LMSW, CCTP Executive Director

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