Green Dot Alaska is a project aimed at engaging individual community members in preventing power-based violence in our communities. Power-based violence includes domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, elder abuse, child abuse and bullying. What we know for sure is that rates of all types of abuse are too high in Alaska – our sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, neighbors and friends are being harmed at alarming rates.
We also know that most people don’t want the next rape or act of domestic violence to happen. Our communities are made up of good people who want violence to end but may not know what to do about it or who have valid reasons they don’t intervene. We call these reasons for not intervening “barriers.” We all have barriers and that is ok! Green Dot helps us to discover lots of options for intervening when we see signs of violence (reactive Green Dots) as well as easy ways to begin to change our culture (Proactive Green Dots).
Violence prevention must mirror the problem of violence. In the same way that violence is a collection of individual choices to do harm, we can make an army of individual choices to step in, to intervene, to say “no.” Every choice to intervene is a green dot. So keep watch.
Fundamentally, violence in our community is a collection of individual choices to do harm. And each choice to do harm is a red dot on our map.
A red dot is a moment in time where someone’s words, choices, or actions contribute to or tolerate violence in some way. Even though it may be hard to get involved, the truth is when most Alaskans choose to stay out of it more red dots make in on to our map. The Green Dot program recognizes that intervening can be hard and that more people would step in if they had the right set of tools.
Any act or any statement that expresses an intolerance of violence is yet another green dot. When we build these “daily green dots” into our lives, we begin to change the culture.
Right now, our culture supports violence. By doing daily green dots, we will change our culture to one where violence is not tolerated and everyone is expected to do their part. Even if you go through a whole day or week without ever seeing a red dot, there are still small things you can do every day to spread green dots.
You don’t have to wait for violence to occur, here are some Green Dots you can start doing now…
• Talk to a friend or family member about interpersonal violence. • Support local and national organizations that work on issues related to violence prevention with your time, money or voice. • Create a Green Dot inspired Facebook post or email tag line • Affirm someone for doing a Green Dot or retell a Green Dot story you heard. • Encourage behaviors and policies that support a workplace that is free from violence • Get more training on power-based personal violence and let people around you know that you are a safe person to talk to about violence • Attend a Green Dot Training in the community or through your workplace. • Contact your elected officials and talk to them about the importance of violence prevention.
Creating a safer community one green dot at a time.