Green Dot Program

Alfred University is committed to keeping our campus community safe and free from violence. Green Dot is our campus strategy for preventing power-based personal violence- violence that uses power, intimidation and/or control to harm another.

The Problem

The reality is that way to many individuals are affected by power-based personal violence. Research suggests that as many as 1 in 5 women will experience attempted or completed sexual assault during college. 1 in 10 rape reports are made by men. Up to 1 in 3 relationships have some aspect of abuse present in them. And around 1 in 4 women and 1 in 13 men will experience stalking. We also know that partner violence occurs in same-sex couples at about the same rate as it occurs in heterosexual couples.

What is the Green Dot strategy?

Green Dot 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-economic model. Informed by Social Change theory, the model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and 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.

Green Dot expands the traditional approach to bystander intervention beyond reactively addressing imminently high-risk situations on an individual basis, to proactively engaging bystanders with access to all levels of the social ecology. The Social Ecological Model is a crucial framework that acknowledges that issues such as violence are the result of the interaction between individuals and their environment. Therefore, to most effectively address these issues, changes have to be made at each level of the model-including not only intervention in high risk situations, but also improving response systems, shifting norms of inaction and strengthening policy and enforcement.

What is a Red Dot?

A red dot is a single choice someone makes to use his or her words, choices, actions or behaviors to hurt someone else.

  • One red dot is the moment it takes to hit someone.
  • One red dot is the single choice to have sex with someone without their consent.
  • One red dot is when someone takes 4-5 minutes to use his or her words to humiliate or threaten or coerce someone.

What is a Green Dot?

A green dot is a small moment when someone makes the choice to use their words or behaviors to try and stop a red dot from happening. A green dot does not have to be a big thing. It is not always intervening directly in the situation.

There are two different kinds of green dot that you can do.

Reactive Green Dots
You do something when you see a potential red dot happening, as well as doing something when you notice signs that violence has already occurred.

  • Someone's choice to check on a friend or family member they are worried about.
  • Giving someone a ride home, or telling someone to back off, or calling the police, or sharing your concern with an RA, or letting the bar-tender know there might be something high-risk going on.

Proactive Green Dots
Things you do to begin stopping red dots before they even start. A Proactive Green Dot is something you say or do to make it clear to people in your life that: (1) violence is not okay with you, and (2) that everyone is expected to do their part to make the campus community safe.

  • Wear a green dot pin or t-shirt
  • Post a link on Feacebook to a cool bystander video
  • Ask your RA, professor, student advisor, student org president to bring a bystander training to your group
  • Have a conversation or text exchange with your friends about what they can do to spread green dots
  • Have a poster, brochure or flier about resources or prevention tips in your place of work or residence hall
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