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.