12 Core Principles

Our Commitment
to Each Other

In order to participate in the Hidden Water community, we ask all to read and agree to strive toward these 12 values developed by our community.
Core Principle 1

We honor all Four Colors
and their interconnectedness.

We welcome all who have been affected by Child Sexual Abuse: those who have been harmed sexually as a young person, those who have caused harm and are ready to take responsibility, and those who love either or both. We see equality in our colors, with no one perspective dominating the other. We approach our work from a “we” framework, understanding that we have all harmed and been harmed in many different ways. We all have a role to play in the collective healing.

Core Principle 2

We commit to using restorative practices.

We commit to using Circle in our staff and leadership meetings, our community gatherings, our learning and healing spaces and our family work. We will gather to both share our lived experiences and hold space without judgment about the lived experiences of others without dominating the space with our individual truth. Participation in these circles is always voluntary - an invitation, not a directive. If, during our process, we cause harm to others then we address that harm by acknowledging our actions and by listening with openness to the impact those actions had on others. If, during our process, we feel harmed then we speak the impact into the circle space when we can, and stay open to the possibility of repair.

Core Principle 3

We pursue a pathway to healing
that is both individual and collective. 

Hidden Water provides an opportunity for collective healing. Yet, participants including the Keeper, are ultimately responsible for their own individual journey. No single person is responsible for another participants healing. The work we do together is not psychotherapy and the Keeper––also a participant doing their own work––is not a mental health professional. The Keepers function as the stewards, monitoring the safety of the group and guiding this collective endeavor. The healing happens in the open space for sharing and the non-judgmental listening, as we offer to each other a chance to be witnessed.

Core Principle 4

We practice inclusion
while maintaining personal boundaries.

People of all identities, social positions, and lived experiences are invited to sojourn with us as long as they too are committed to upholding our Core Principles. For those who are not yet able or willing to commit to these values they remain part of our wider human Circle. We recognize that cause for boundaried separation may arise from time to time. We commit to addressing such situations with care and humility, and will endeavor to find a path to restoration.

Core Principle 5

We work in an iterative process
both internally and externally.  

We honor our capacity to grow, heal and learn both as individuals and as an organization. We do not claim to have all of the answers, nor the right approach for all people. The journey is never over. We have not reached the final state - as individuals on our healing path, in our ever-changing relationships nor as an organization. We honor, believe in and embrace our human capacity for change. We strive to stay curious and eager to learn, about our own inner journey and that of others. We strive to treat ourselves, others and the organization with dignity and respect as we stumble, learn and evolve.

Core Principle 6

We commit to anti-racism
and honoring identity differences.

We commit to examining and rooting out oppression, abusive power, and supremacy culture wherever they manifest in ourselves, our community and our organization. We each take responsibility for sharing our lived experience, listening deeply and not assuming we fully understand the experiences of others. We approach each individual’s story with humility and curiosity. We strive to understand the nuance and complexity of harm, without negating the experiences we do not yet understand.

Core Principle 7

We embrace humility.

We strive for deep humility and grace. We work to be generous toward others and reflect upon our own motives. We listen deeply to what we don’t yet understand, striving to learn from each other. We work from the understanding of interconnectedness, and those who cause us discomfort might also be our greatest teachers. We share to be known, listen to know others, and strive not to project onto others what we wish they were, but allow them to be who they are, and find our own way to meet our needs.

Core Principle 8

We treat each other with
dignity and respect.

In all of our interactions and decision-making, we seek to honor the dignity of each person and group of people. Dignity is the fundamental recognition of each person's worth and we endeavor to ensure that each person feels seen, valued, and respected. Therefore, even in moments of disagreement or anger, we prioritize dialogue and civil discourse. We expect that members of the Hidden Water community can find the words and use a non-threatening tone to convey their thoughts and feelings.

Core Principle 9

We make space for anger and its impact.

We make space for defensive anger that expresses the impact another has had on us. We also commit to not speaking with offensive anger, attacking the character of another, or dishonoring their humanity. We strive to create safety around expressions of anger, so the individual can be held in their experience and the listener can receive their words in ways that could bring about healing. We also acknowledge that anger can cause harm, that we must be accountable for when we expressed it with aggression. When we are not able to express our anger in a potentially productive way, we commit to taking a pause or a break, waiting to share until we know we can honor this value.

Core Principle 10

We seek reciprocity and
aim to be of service to one another. 

We are a community supporting and guiding itself. The heart of healing is both doing our own healing work, while being of service to others as they do their healing work. We commit to sharing space when in circle, both offering our understandings in turn to the collective wisdom, and maintaining healthy boundaries in order to give space to the offers from others. We seek to contribute without insisting we alone know the right way forward. We commit to not taking energy, time and resources from Hidden Water without giving back in a meaningful way with our own energy, time or resources.

Core Principle 11

We seek organizational accountability.

As a community, we have conferred responsibility on individuals to make important decisions—with professional, social, financial, emotional and spiritual consequences. We honor their judgment, while offering our support and input. We ask those who make decisions for this community to be accountable for the unintended outcomes or impact of those decisions. We maintain collective responsibility for both the mistakes and successes, the limitations and the growth of our community.

Core Principle 12

We practice transparency,
confidentiality and trust.

We commit to finding a balance between being transparent and maintaining privacy and confidentiality. We are mindful about sharing information that can strain the bonds of trust while endeavoring to be as open and direct as possible. We strive to approach differences and limited information with curiosity, communication, and hold in focus the complex humanity of all individuals.