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The Ophelia Project is dedicated to helping girls form healthy peer relationships while creating a safe social culture for all youth and adults. A safe social culture is defined as one that does not accept of taunting, covert aggression, and bullying as normal behaviors or rites of passage.
American society increasingly condones violence as acceptable behavior. Though we've taken great strides to confiscate weapons and calm raging fists, we still allow emotional violence to occur without consequence. Violence occurs on a continuum - something as seemingly harmless as eye-rolling on one end, suicide and school shootings on the other. The Ophelia ProjectÂ chooses to focus on the low end of the continuum by targeting relational aggression - gossip, rumor-spreading, exclusion - hurtful behavior that without prevention or intervention efforts can inflict major psychological damage on ALL people. Children, youth and adults. Above all, we believe that the most powerful impact on our culture can be made by youth themselves. Through mentoring and leadership opportunities, we encourage young men and women to speak out against relational aggression and choose to treat their peers with respect and civility. Our approach is systemic. We believe parents, teachers and community members at large are often left without the tools to approach relational aggression. In order for children to grow up healthy, they need positive role-models that exemplify safe social norms. The Ophelia Project's CASS (Creating a Safe SchoolÂ©) program gives parents, teachers, and administrators the language of relational aggression and the tools to help youth stop the hurting. Communities can come together as an Ophelia national affiliate to offer education, awareness and advocacy, taking action against relational aggression. Our tailored workshops and seminars address relational aggression - the latest research, programs and strategies - for anyone that works with youth or adults to create a safer social culture.
- Melissa Newell
- (814) 456-5437
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