SMCM Goes Green Dot!
Started in the fall of 2012, SMCM's Green Dot program has been working to stop interpersonal power-based violence (sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking) across our community.
No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.
Green Dot's premise is that in order to reduce power-based personal violence a cultural shift is necessary. In order to create a cultural shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in a new behavior or set of behaviors that will make violence less sustainable within our environment. The “new behavior” is a green dot.
Imagine for a moment a map of our campus (or go look at the map in the Campus Center) covered with red dots. Each red dot represents an act of power-based personal violence or a choice to tolerate‚ justify or perpetuate this violence. A red dot is a rape, a threat, a statement that justifies or minimizes the violence, an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a high risk situation. Power-based personal violence is the accumulation of individual decisions‚ moments‚ values‚ and actions made by people from every corner of our campus. It’s hard to know exactly how many red dots are on our map at any given moment, but we do know there have been enough red dots to create a culture that sustains violence.
Now imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots. A green dot is any behavior‚ choice‚ word‚ or attitude that promotes safety and communicates intolerance for violence.
A Green Dot is:
- Pulling a friend out of a high risk situation
- Putting a green dot statement on your Facebook page
- Doing a paper about violence prevention
- Hanging an poster
- Wearing green dot gear
- Striking up a conversation with a friend about how much this issue matters to you
- Organizing a fundraiser for campus prevention efforts
- getting your organization to go to green dot bystander training
- making sure a friend who is drunk gets home safely
- calling 911 when you see a potentially scary situation
- spilling a drink that you think may have been drugged
- leaving a party with the friends you came with
- speaking up when you hear a victim-blaming statement
- encouraging discussion in class about violence
- asking a friend if they are ok if you are concerned
- challenging a joke that minimizes violence.
- A green dot is simply your individual choice, at any given moment, to make our campus safer
How many green dots will it take to begin reducing power-based personal violence on our campus? How many of us need to add 2 or 3 or 7 or 50 green dots to this map to begin to make a difference and begin to outshine and displace those red dots? We cannot know the exact number‚ but we do know this: if most of us choose inaction, choose to close our eyes to this issue, choose apathy and indifference, then the red dots stand and we will surely continue to have our partners, friends and co-workers become victims of violence. That is not OK. That must not be OK with any of us. The power of Green Dot is this simple shared vision and common goal: You can either be a red dot or a green dot.