What is a Green Dot?

“Green Dot, etc.” is a five year strategy designed to engage ALL community members in the effort to decrease violence. It uses awareness, education and skill-practice to encourage proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of norms that support violence. The goal is for individuals and groups to engage in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention and intervention within their existing relationships and daily activities. It reinforces the community members that they CAN make a difference. Perhaps more importantly, it engages them actively in norm changing behavior that ultimately will lay the groundwork for a culture within our community that does not tolerate violence. The “Green Dot, etc.” does not require that a group or individual has any understanding of domestic, sexual or dating violence. It does not require a particular perspective or a point of view. It allows us to meet people where they are and engage every member of our community in the work to end violence.
So, what is a green dot? A green dot is an individual action, activity or statement that communicates to someone else that violence is not okay. Often a green dot happens when someone sees something that indicates that violence is possible, is imminent or has already happened. It might be a dangerous situation, something you know is wrong or something that just makes you uncomfortable. A green dot can be as simple as a check in: “Are you okay?” or “Do you need some help?” A green dot can also happen without the presence of violence. You can just tell a friend a cool story of when someone kept someone else safe or put a poster in the window at your workplace or business, or wear a green dot pin. The idea is that small changes add up to cultural change. We all just need to say or do something that lets others know that violence is not okay with us and we are willing to do our part to stop it.
Seems so simple! Unfortunately, sometimes obstacles get in the way of us doing our green dots. We might be shy, worried about what others will say, think it’s none of our business, don’t want to get involved, afraid of retaliation or just don’t know what to do. “Green Dot, etc.” teaches us to be aware of our obstacles and to come up with new and creative ways to initiate a green dot that feels comfortable given those obstacles. It doesn’t matter what you do. It just matters that you do something! Enough green dots and we WILL change the culture that supports violence in our community.
The “Green Dot, etc.” does not ask you to change who you are or what you believe. We have just recently begun implementation of a five year “Green Dot, etc.” strategy locally. We can come to your organization, place of business, agency, community group or church and give a green dot presentation. It is free and we can customize the presentation to the types of issues your particular group sees or hears about. If you would like us to give a presentation to your group, give Marcy a call at 541-592-5332. We can do a very brief presentation (5-15 minutes) to a large group and/or or a more extended and interactive presentation to those who are interested in the brief overview. The presentation provides a framework to engage the broader community and creates a common language. We are very excited about the program and we believe that this strategy could make a REAL difference in our community. Follow us on twitter @ivgreendot.
P.S. Calling and asking about a presentation is a green dot!

Leave a Reply