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‘Green Dot’ Methods Reduce Power-Based Violence

The Prindle Institute is excited to welcome Dr. Dorothy Edwards, founder of Green Dot Strategy to DePauw for a lecture this evening in the Green Center for the Performing Arts, Kresge Auditorium at 7 PM. Dorothy will discuss Green Dot and ways that campus communities can work towards a healthier, safer social environment. This event is presented by the Delta Gamma Lectureship of Ethics and Values.

The Green Dot violence prevention program aims to eliminate instances of power-based violence (including sexual abuse, domestic violence, and bullying) by emphasizing the role of the bystander. This innovative method draws attention away from placing blame on either the perpetrator or the victim, as that’s where debates usually get messy when it comes to issues of violence. By shifting the focus to the bystander, Green Dot is able to empower individuals by helping them recognize potential “red dots,” or situations that could lead to violence, and encouraging them to actively intervene and perform positive “green dots” to prevent the situation from escalating. The Green Dot strategy “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.”

With power-based violence so prevalent in our society, it can be easy to get discouraged about how to bring about change. Green Dot is well aware of this, and its strategy is informed by an impressive amount of research about how to most effectively communicate with individuals about violence, helping them to understand that bystander actions can be highly impactful. A promising recent study by Ann Coker at the University of Kentucky revealed that the Green Dot method significantly reduced the amount of reported sexual assault cases at high schools that implemented its strategy.  The study found “a greater than 50 percent reduction in the self-reported frequency of sexual violence perpetration by students at schools that received the Green Dot training, compared to a slight increase at schools that did not.” This is incredibly hopeful news for Green Dot and those working towards violence prevention. It’s a clear indication that Green Dot’s mission to “measurably and systematically reduce violence within any given community” is within our power. We hope you’ll join us for Dorothy’s lecture to learn more about ways that DePauw and Green Dot can work together to improve campus climate.