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Green Dot approach

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

Green Dot sees these unacceptable behaviors as a cultural problem where the hateful and hurtful behaviors of individuals, if tolerated, accumulate and spread and ultimately become 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 repeated behaviors by members of the community.

Green Dot uses the power of the bystander to make a difference, instead of focusing on the victim or perpetrator. Most of us are far more likely to be bystanders than targets of hateful and hurtful words and actions. Research has shown that small, simple, and safe words and actions are powerful. They support and help protect the target. They help establish and maintain community norms. And they signal to others that bystanders are not powerless, but can easily make a difference.

Green Dot training helps individuals recognize the occurence or warning signs of hateful and hurtful '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.

Green Dot believes that when enough individuals each do small things, the result is positive culture change.