Green Dot is a national initiative that’s all about bystander intervention, specifically when you see signs related to power-based, interpersonal violence. This movement was developed by psychologists and public health social scientists to help prevent acts of harm – like sexual abuse, harassment, and dating violence. It has been shown to reduce rates of abuse in a community after only 5 years.
The goal of Green Dot is to normalize bystander intervention, and to make the following two norms a reality in our community:
1. We don’t tolerate abuse in our community
2. Everyone has a role to play in prevention
The SARA Prevention team partners with local high schools to facilitate Green Dot so that students and teachers can work together to create a safer community for everyone. Green Dot trainings, events, and resources teach how to protect someone if you notice signs that a situation is high risk for sexual assault, sexual harassment, child abuse, and/or racial discrimination while keeping yourself safe as well.
What is a “Red Dot”?
A red dot is an action, or a choice, that one person makes to harm another person.
What is a “Green Dot”?
A green dot is an action, or a choice, that a bystander makes to protect someone else from harm.
Quotes from Students:
“I think that Green Dot is really interesting and I’m glad I got involved. The discussions we had helped me feel more informed on certain issues, and I’m really glad to have had this opportunity.”
“I really enjoyed doing this! Thank you for taking your time to help me become more informed and well-equipped to react and help those around me!”
“I think Green Dot is a great program that really inspires and creates great ways to spread knowledge on the how, which is extremely helpful to those who want to help but don't know how.”
“It's a great way to learn how to help people get out of uncomfortable situations. I am definitely more comfortable about being an active bystander than I was before the training.”
How to Get Involved
Attend a Bystander Training
If you are a CHS Student interested in attending a Green Dot Bystander Training, please fill out this permission form.
Bystander Trainings are offered on Fridays. Expect to have a fun day together with other students (and bring your friends!), and to come away with:
More knowledge about how to step in and stand up for people, specifically related to preventing and identifying potential sexual assault, sexual harassment, child abuse, and racial discrimination.
We don’t focus on the problems, but on how we can move forward together to promote SOLUTIONS.
Get new ideas about what to do in situations to prevent abuse and create a safer community for everyone.
The Green Dot Bystander Training thrives on engagement, discussion, and activities… NOT lecture. Student voice, perspective, and understanding is what we aim to guide us through this motivating curriculum. The goal is to empower and engage you – and let you bring your hesitations, your hopes, your frustrations, and your desires, so we can solve problems together as a community.
There is no other commitment asked of students other than attend ONE training, but if they would like to get more involved, they can do that by becoming a Green Dot Ambassador. This option will be offered at the end of training but is not required.
Become a Green Dot Ambassador
Green Dot Ambassadors are students at CHS who want to promote Green Dot ideas beyond the Bystander Training. These students work with SARA’s Green Dot Coordinator to identify ways to increase the impact in their school, and to get other students involved. Abuse doesn’t stop if just one or two people gets involved – our goal is that everyone would realize they have a part to play in stopping abuse!
Spread Green Dot Footprints
The ONLY way a community or a school can really change is if enough people get involved.
The ONLY way fewer people will get hurt is if we get the people in our lives to each add their own Green Dots to the map.
So if we want to prevent abuse before we even see red dots, we need to help spread the word that everyone has a role to play, that consent matters, that there are ways to intervene, that people are stepping up to protect each other.
Every time a person expresses their support for stopping abuse, harassment, or discrimination, they leave a “footprint” on the map – paving the way for a safer community.
Start practicing Green Dots
1. Direct: Do something yourself (like asking someone to stop what they are doing, or checking on someone you might be worried about). For example:
a. If you know the person who is harassing, casually tell them to stop, or talk to them about it later.
b. Tell the person being harmed that you think what the other person is doing is wrong.
2. Delegate: If you can’t do something yourself because of your barriers, ask their friends to help; talk to a trusted parent, coach, teacher, or peer; tell your older sibling to check in; leave an anonymous note for the coach or school counselor. For example:
a. If your friend knows the person, get their attention and see what they think about the situation. Tell them you think it’s harassment and it’s a problem.
b. If it’s harassment, talk to a teacher after class so they’ll know what’s happening and can address it.
3. Distract: If you don’t want to address the situation directly or even acknowledge you see it, try to think of a distraction that will diffuse the situation or calm things down in the moment. This is your chance to get creative! Examples include:
a. ‘Accidentally’ trip or drop your books nearby,
b. Ask to borrow the phone of someone involved,
c. Ask for a ride,
d. Start an unrelated conversation with the people involved.