University of Portland is a Community Against Violence. Green Dot gives every one of us the opportunity to reduce power-based personal violence in our community and help keep each other safe. Want to learn more? Watch this 90-second video:
At the surface, power-based personal violence can seem like an abstract concept. For some, acts like stalking, dating violence, sexual assault, and rape happen in movies or in faraway places on the news. But for others, these are acts of violence that have affected friends, family, or themselves.
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 campus 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 when a bystander witnesses a situation of potential violence, but walks away and does nothing -- that moment of inaction is a red dot.
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. Any act or any statement that expresses an intolerance of violence is yet another green dot.
So keep watch. If you see a situation of potential violence, something that flicks you in the gut, try this:
Maybe you feel comfortable handling a red dot situation directly. Maybe you can tell your friend, "I think she's too drunk to go upstairs with you" or tell your roommate, "You promised we'd stick together tonight."
Maybe you are shy. Maybe you don't want to look like a tool. Get someone to intervene. Find her friends. Get his roommate. Get an RA. Make an anonymous call to Public Safety. Talk to someone who can step in and help.
Create a diversion that interrupts a choice to do a red dot. Shout, "Hey, don't you want to play XBOX? We got Forza in here!" Or, "Hey, your car is getting towed!" Or throw off your cardigan and just start breakdancing.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-WA-AX-0017 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S., DOJ. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.