December 7, 2011

Green Dot — now a CFD choice — seeks to reduce personal power-based violence

Imagine a map where every act of power-based personal violence is represented by a red dot.

Members of Green Dot during Bystander Training in April 2011.

Members of Green Dot during Bystander Training in April 2011.

“A red dot is a hit — a red dot is a threat — a red dot is a statement that justifies or minimizes violence,” says the website for the violence-reduction program UW Green Dot, which you can now support through the UW Combined Fund Drive. “A red dot is an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a high-risk situation.

“Its 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 the red dots on that map being replaced by green dots — actions against that violence — and you have the goal of Green Dot, nationally and at the UW.

A Green Dot action 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 your individual choice to make our campus safer.”

Green Dot also offers students “bystander training” each quarter, where they learn about identifying potentially risky situations, discuss their personal barriers to intervening and practice the skills needed for responding, as opposed to doing nothing.

Melissa Tumas, UW sexual assault and relationship violence specialist, said it better: “The goal of the Green Dot movement is to gain a critical mass of students, staff and faculty who are willing to do their small part to actively and visibly take action to reduce power-based violence at the UW.”

Tumas said that Green Dot has been at the UW since 2009 and is funded by the departments who are represented on its steering committee. These are Residence Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Activities, Counseling Center, UW Police, SafeCampus and the Sexual Assault & Relationship Violence Information Service (SARIS). The UW is one of eight higher education institutions in Washington where Green Dot is being implemented.

Its now a CFD choice, too. “Weve had many people ask how they can donate to Green Dot so we were finally able to set up an account through the foundation,” Tumas said.

You can also find and follow the organization on Facebook.