The Green Dot approach

The Green Dot approach is a research-based and evidence-supported program that trains individuals within a community to recognize the signs of power-based interpersonal threats and violence and equips individuals with tools that allow them to respond in ways that prevent or safely mitigates these behaviors.

It sees these unacceptable behaviors as a cultural problem where the hateful and hurtful behaviors of individuals, if tolerated, accumulate and spread, ultimately becoming parat of the accepted community norm. Because the problem is based on the repeated occurence of unacceptable behaviors by members of the community, the solution Green Dot provides is also based on the repeated behaviors by members of the community.

Green Dot training helps individuals recognize the occurence or warning signs of 'red dot' behaviors, gives them tools they can safely use to respond to the unacceptable behaviors, minimizing their frequency and impact. It recognizes that it is normal to have barriers that make it hard to react 'in the moment' and emphasizes use of different kinds of responses to get around one's barriers and repond effectively and safely in different circumstances. These tools are often discussed as the three Ds: direct action, degelation, and distraction.

In addition to these 'reactive' Green Dot behaviors, one learns where and how to do 'proactive' Green Dots. These are words or actions that set and signal the community norm that violence is not acceptable, and that make it clear that while no one can do everything, everyone can do something – and when enough individuals each do small things, the result is positive culture change.