"Take a Stand" Healthy Relationships Week

Healthy relationships and violence prevention is the focus of the "Green Dot" Healthy Relationships Fair.  This program helps us to recognize the danger signs for voilence in relationships and encourages bystander intervention.

- Week of November 17, 2014

What is Green Dot?

Imagine you are in a situation room for a growing epidemic or even the "zombie apocalypse!"  Outbreaks, represented by red dots expanding and popping up on the map, indicate the spread and intensity of the disaster.  Now imagine that rather than deadly infection, each red dot on this map represented an act of power-based personal violence (sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking); or a choice to tolerate, justify or perpetuate this violence.  A red dot is a hit; a red dot is a threat; a red dot is a statement that justifies or minimizes the violence; a red dot is an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a high risk situation.  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 dots to create a culture that sustains far too many men and women experiencing violence.

Now imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots on your map.  A green dot is any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that promotes safety for all citizens and communicates utter intolerance for violence. A green dot is pulling a friend out of a high risk situation; a green dot is donating a few dollars to your local service provider; a green dot is displaying an awareness poster in your room or office; a green dot is putting a green dot message on your facebook page; a green dot is striking up a conversation with a friend or family member about how much the issue matters to you.  A green dot is simply your individual choice at any given moment to make our world safer.

What is power-based personal violence?

Power-based personal violence is a form of violence that involves the assertion of power, control and/or intimidation in order to harm another.  This includes sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and other uses of force, threat, intimidation, or harassment of an individual.  It also incudes the use of alcohol or drugs to commit any of these acts.  Men can be victims of power-based personal violence and this kind of violence can happen in gay and lesbian relationships, meaning perpetrator and victim can be of either sex.

Sexual Assault- unwanted sexual activity, which includes rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and unwanted sexual touching.  Any sexual contact that lacks consent and/or capacity to give consent.

Relationship Violence- a pattern of controlling and coercive behaviors that include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by a current or former partner.

Stalking- unwanted, repeated and continuing contact which directly or indirectly causes a person to feel threatened, harassed, or intimidated.

History

Green Dot was developed by Dorthy Edwards at the University of Kentucky.  More information about Green Dot can be found at the Green Dot Website at www.livethegreendot.com.  Green Dot is a national movement that is also being implemented at other universities, colleges, and organizations nationwide.