What is Green Dot?
A Green Dot is any action that reduces the risk of violence in the moment, supports a survivor or creates a culture less tolerant of power-based personal violence.
A Green Dot is:
- making sure a friend who is drunk gets home safely.
- calling 911 when you see a potentially scary situation.
- spilling a drink that you think may have been drugged.
- leaving a party with the friends you came with.
- pulling a friend out of a high risk situation.
- putting a Green Dot statement on your Facebook page.
- writing a paper about violence prevention.
- hanging a poster on your door or in a classroom.
- wearing your Green Dot gear.
- speaking up when you hear a victim-blaming statement.
- encouraging discussion in class about violence.
- striking up a conversation with a friend about how much this issue matters to you.
- asking a friend if they are ok if you are concerned.
- organizing a fundraiser for campus prevention efforts.
- getting your organization to go to Green Dot bystander training.
- challenging a joke that minimizes violence.
What is a red dot?
Imagine for a moment a map of our campus. Each red dot on this map represents an act of power-based personal violence (sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking)–or a choice to tolerate‚ justify or perpetuate this violence. A red dot is a hit–a red dot is a threat–a red dot is a statement that justifies or minimizes the violence–a red dot is an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a high risk situation. Power-based personal 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. 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 women and men experiencing violence.
Now imagine adding a Green Dot in the middle of all those red dots on our map.
How many of us need to add two or 10 or 50 green dots to this map to begin to make a difference and begin to outshine and displace those red dots? We cannot know the exact number‚ but we do know this: if most of us choose inaction–if most of us choose to close our eyes to this issue–if most of us choose apathy and indifference–then the red dots stand! If we do not begin replacing moments of violence and inaction with moments of support and safety‚ then we will surely continue to have our partners, friends and co-workers become victims of violence. That is not OK. That must not be OK with any of us.
The power of Green Dot is simple: Red dots bad. Green dots good. You decide.
What is power-based personal violence?
Power-based personal violence is a form of violence that involves the assertion of power, control and/or intimidation in order to harm another. This includes sexual assault‚ relationship violence, stalking‚ and other uses of force‚ threat‚ intimidation‚ or harassment of an individual. It also includes the use of alcohol or drugs to commit any of these acts. Men can be victims of power-based personal violence and this kind of violence can happen in gay and lesbian relationships, meaning perpetrator and victim can be of either sex.
Sexual Assault—unwanted sexual activity, which includes rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and unwanted sexual touching. Any sexual contact that lacks consent and/or capacity to give consent.
Relationship violence—a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviors that include physical, sexual and emotional abuse by a current or former partner.
Stalking—unwanted, repeated and continuing contact which directly or indirectly causes a person to feel threatened, harassed or intimidated.
For more information about the dynamics of sexual and relationship violence, go to SARIS.
Green Dot was developed by Dorothy Edwards at the University of Kentucky. More information about Green Dot can be found at UK’s website. Green dot is a national movement that is also being implemented at other universities and colleges in Washington.