Tag Archives: bystander intervention

Eliminating violence with… green dots?

The Overview:

First of all, I will say that finding the YWCA is very easy… if you read the email correctly and don’t go to the YMCA.

I blame the song. Stupid middle school dances.

Eliminating racism – empowering women

The Green Dot movement was started by several local groups, and I will give you more on it as they unveil their program. It is still very much in it’s early stages. It doesn’t even have a website yet!

There were about thirty people participating, and the energy in the room was so powerful!

The Elevator Pitch:

Green Dot is about displacing violence in our community. Picture a map of your community. Red dots appear on the map for every act of violence. However, at least one green dot can appear on the map whenever a bystander, that’s you or me, intervenes in some way. That could mean directly intervening, or distracting or getting help. We can also place much larger green dots over large areas of the map by visibly or vocally changing the culture around us to be inhospitable to violence. In this way, we will displace violence by creating a culture of bystander intervention.

The Results:

After the Green Dot training, I swear to you I have never felt more motivated in my life to get out there and make a difference in my community!

Shout-out to my group, the Prairie Dogs, whose motto ‘Vigilance’ is based on the fact that Prairie Dogs are a tight knit community who watch each other’s backs by posting lookouts. How lovely <3.

I now feel confident that if I am a bystander to violence, I will know how to act.

Now, I have sworn an oath to the two most excellent trainers a gal could ask for: I will not be silent on issues of violence.

Each one of us has influence over our lives – through our families, friends, or even tiny little websites – and we all have a responsibility to use that influence to start conversations about violence in our communities and how we plan to stop it.

This influence needs to be used to make positive change. Things start small at first, but will grow. After all, we each model, through our words and actions, what matters to us.

However, we also model what matters through our silence.

If we are silent on the subject of violence, we are allowing a place for it to grow. By speaking to all of those that we can influence, each of us are saying that we do not tolerate violence in any form. This is how we place those larger green dots over the map, and how we create a culture that has no place for violence.

We don’t think about how we will act when we are a bystander to violence until it happens, and in that situation the last thing you want to do is freeze. However, if you don’t plan out some options before hand and are unprepared for that situation, that’s exactly what you will do.

If you need any help puzzling out the safest ways to be a Green Dot bystander, please start a discussion in the comments!

Together, we will create a world where violence isn’t tolerated.



M. Grace