Tag: community (page 1 of 2)

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!

It’s Not Just a Woman’s Issue

Continue reading

Garden Clean -up Day

The staff and friends of the Safe House Alliance spent Saturday morning cleaning up the Community Garden. The weeds were high in and out of the beds and needed to be pulled. We accomplished a tremendous amount in the few hours we were there thanks to having lots of hands willing to do the work. There is much to be done still, but our efforts paid off and now when you drive past the garden, you can see how lovely and productive it is. So come on down to the community garden.

Community Health and Domestic Violence

In the Alliance office, we are frequently thinking about ways to become healthier, physically and mentally. We try to eat healthy; our Friday potlucks generally consist of lentils, vegetables, gluten free pasta, mostly sugar free food, you know- healthy stuff. Also on our Potluck Fridays, we have a staff meeting where we begin by talking about what we are grateful for – a way to keep our outlook positive, then end with a bit of self care so none of get overwhelmed from the difficult work we do to end Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  We are aware of our physical and emotional health and we try to take care of ourselves.

I recently attended a Community Health Fair with one of our community partner organizations, “Healthy U” in which the focus is “how do we get our community to embrace good health”. When the topic of how to get more people interested in getting healthy and accessing services,  it dawned on me that people are mostly trying to meet their basic needs and don’t have time to even think about getting healthy.  I then began to wonder about how a woman living in a violent situation thinks about her health, or if she thinks about it. When a woman is living in an abusive situation, and is afraid for her personal security, her first and most important need is that of her own safety and the safety of her children.

For those of us who took psychology classes, we know that in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is the most important aspect of the human condition after physical needs; breathing, food and water. A woman living with a violent partner may have her basic needs for survival met; she is able to breathe, has food (unless it is withheld as punishment) and has access to water. The next level of the needs hierarchy is basic safety and security.  When a person’s basic need for safety and security is not met, it is not possible to move into fulfilling the next steps; social needs, esteem needs and personal growth (self actualization needs). When we spend our time struggling and worrying about how to stay safe, we don’t have the time or the energy to think about much of anything else. Our physical health and our emotional/mental health are often the last things on our minds.

The U.S Department of Justice reported that 37% of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries were injured by a current of former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Thirty seven percent! That number always astounds me. Studies of the Surgeon General’s office reveal that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and cancer deaths combined. Other research has found that half of all women will experience some form of violence from their partners during marriage, and that more than one third are battered repeatedly every year. The Center for Disease Control studies conclude that the costs of intimate partner violence against women exceed an estimated billion in direct costs of medical and mental health care and nearly 1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity.

All of these statistics show that if we want our community to be healthy, part of the process is to ensure the safety of those residing here. If we can find a way to keep everyone safe, men, women, and children, then we can begin to find a way to good health.

Training Opportunity

On March 31, 2014, the Alliance will be offering a three hour training for volunteers, community partners and anyone interested in improving their response to victims of abuse. The topics to be covered will be:

  • The Batterer as Parent – including how a batterer interacts with his children and the other parent as a victim.
  • Domestic Violence and Children- what happens to a child when exposed to domestic violence?
  • Sexual Assault- an overview including statistics, effect on the victim, drug facilitated rape.
  • Drugs, Alcohol and Domestic Violence– does drinking cause violence? How victims cope and how it increases lethality.

The training will begin at 9:00am and end at 12:00pm and refreshments will be served. All attendees will receive a certificate of completion.

This training includes part of the basic components for the required Department of Human Services employees’ training.

Older posts