Green Dot Strategy
The Green Dot strategy is a comprehensive approach to the primary prevention of violence that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model. Informed by social change theory, the model targets all community members as potential agents of social change. It seeks to engage them, through awareness, education and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations- resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence. Specifically, the program proposes to target socially influential individuals from across community subgroups. The goal is for these groups to engage in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. By doing so, new norms will be introduced and those within their sphere of influence will be significantly influenced to move from passive agreement that violence is wrong, to active intervention.
Visualize for a moment that unforgettable image of small red dots spreading across a computer-generated map of the US, symbolizing the spread of some terrible epidemic -- with each tiny red dot representing an individual case. With disturbing speed, the three or four single dots multiply and spread until the whole map emits a red glow comprised of a zillion tiny dots.
Now imagine for a moment a map of UK. Each red dot on this map represents an act of sexual and gender-based interpersonal violence (partner violence, sexual violence, or stalking) -- or a choice to tolerate, justify or perpetuate this violence. A red dot is a rape, a hit, a threat, a statement that justifies or minimizes the violence, or an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a high risk situation. Interpersonal violence is not a huge, solid mass that can simply be removed with one swift action or policy. Rather, it is the accumulation of individual decisions, moments, values, and actions made by the men and women from every corner of our campus -- students, faculty, staff and administrators. It's hard to know exactly how many red dots are on our map at any given moment -- but we do know there have been enough red dots to create a culture that sustains far too many victims of violence. Now, imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots on our map. A green dot represents any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that promotes safety for all of us and communicates utter intolerance for any form of violence. A green dot is pulling a friend out of a high risk situation, responding to a victim-blaming statement with words of support, posting a message on Facebook, coordinating a training for your student org, displaying an awareness poster in your office, wearing your Green Dot gear, striking up a conversation with a friend about how much this issue matters to you, or even writing a paper or giving a speech on violence prevention. A green dot is simply your individual choice at any given moment to make our community safer.