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July 6, 2018
On Campus

Green Dot

Wittenberg Begins Implementation Of National Intervention Program

Springfield, Ohio – The Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program, which aims to prevent sexual, physical, and other power-based types of violence, was recently introduced to students, faculty and staff at Wittenberg University thanks to a grant received from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Associate Director of Student Involvement Kevin Carey, Director of Student Conduct Gwen Owen, and Lieutenant Lee McCartney of Wittenberg’s Campus Police Division have led strategic training sessions to introduce Green Dot to students, faculty and staff members during the summer months. Feedback from participants has been positive, according to Carey, and he is optimistic that Green Dot will make an immediate positive impact upon Wittenberg’s campus culture.

“I know our team believes in the Green Dot strategy and is inspired to continue to train students, faculty and staff to create campus norms where sexual violence is not tolerated,” Carey said.

Founded by Dorothy Edwards, president of Alteristic, Inc., Green Dot offers innovative approaches to preventing interpersonal violence through transforming “passive” bystanders into active, or “green dot” bystanders who identify potential risk-factors of violence and utilize mitigation strategies. Rather than adhering to the traditional approaches of violence-prevention that posit men as potential perpetrators and women as potential victims, the Green Dot strategy focuses on building coalitions without divisions and emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility.

Green Dot training consists of four modules. The first module defines the program for attendees, and the second module provides an overview of observable behaviors associated with potentially harmful scenarios. Module three requires attendees to introspectively assess personality characteristics that may prevent them from intervention, such as “embarrassment,” “introversion,” the desire to avoid “confrontation,” and “personal safety,” as well as the problematic thought that “someone else will intervene.” The fourth module aims to “identify realistic solutions” for oneself, or the “green dots” from which the program derives its name. Responses to potentially harmful situations may include calling a friend for help, direct verbal counters, spilling one’s drink to create a distraction, or checking in with a friend who seems uncomfortable.

“We are thankful to the more than 60 individuals on campus who participated in recent training sessions and have become Green Dot advocates. As we look to the fall semester, we encourage anyone and everyone invested in reducing power-based personal violence to attend a training session.”
Associate Director of Student Involement Kevin Carey

Schools that have implemented the Green Dot program report a reduction in violent crimes. For example, the University of Kentucky's Center for Research on Violence Against Women reported a 40 percent reduction in the frequency of total violence and a 50 percent reduction in sexual violence among students at Kentucky high schools that received Green Dot training.

Colleges that have implemented the program have recorded similar results. Carey hopes Wittenberg will become another Green Dot program success story.

Co-Written By: Reese Harper '20

Ryan Maurer
Ryan Maurer
Senior Writer and Web Communications Specialist

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About Wittenberg

A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for "Best Classroom Experience" and 15th in the category "Professors Get High Marks" in the 2011 edition of Princeton's annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of "Most Accessible Professors." Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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