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. So keep watch. If you see a situation of potential violence, something that flicks you in the gut, try one of the 3 Ds and do your part!
Any act or any statement that expresses an intolerance of violence is yet another green dot. When we build these “daily green dots” into our lives, we begin to change the culture. Right now, our culture supports violence. By doing daily green dots, we will change our culture to one where violence is not tolerated and everyone is expected to do their part. Even if you go through a whole day or week without ever seeing a red dot, there are still small things you can do every day to spread green dots. These “daily dots” are easy, and here are some ideas:
- Talk to one person about your commitment to end violence.
- Look up a positive bystander story on the internet and post it to Facebook/Twitter.
- Wear a pin from a local agency that supports victims of violence and tell anyone who asks you that you are committed to a safer community.
- Attend one event in the next month hosted by a local agency addressing violence.
- Spend 15 minutes reading about the work of a local agency on their website.
- Tell someone you love that you are a safe person to talk to if they are ever in a situation or relationship that feels unsafe or unhealthy.
- Offer to be the person who makes sure everyone gets home safely when you and your friends go out.
- Tell your coworkers that if they need help addressing a potentially harmful situation at work, they can ask you to help.
- Wear a green dot and talk about it to those who ask.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about the importance of building a community where violence is not tolerated and everyone is expected to do their part.