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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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‘Green Dot’ workshop tackles the bystander effect

Editor’s Note: The following article contains discussions of sexual violence and assault.

The Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services aimed to teach students how to respond when they witness sexual assault and violence with its “Green Dot” workshop Tuesday.

This training, which was introduced to campus in 2014, was the first event on the second day of Kent Interhall Council’s Sex Week.

“The goal of Green Dot is to educate our community on being an active bystander, ” said Yvette Roberts, assistant director of SRVSS. “If you see something happening in your community like someone being harmed, it aims to teach you how to safely intervene.” 

The workshop utilized red and green dots to represent violence and violence prevention. Red dots represented a situation that can be harmful, and students were able to learn about green dots or words and actions that can diffuse an unsafe situation. 

“‘Green Dot’ teaches you how to safely intervene if you see someone on campus, say being hit by their partner,” Roberts said. “It shows you and walks you through how to help that person and make sure that person is okay, but also how to take care of yourself in that situation.” 

Sex Week includes other events that touch on sexual violence. “Green Dot” is the only event that will focus primarily on violence and how people can react when faced with this violence, said Joshua Outman, Director of Programming for Kent Interhall Council. 

“‘Green Dot’ teaches you how to be a better advocate for people who need help from sexual and relationship violence, harassment, stalking, all that,” Outman said. “‘Green Dot’ fits into Sex Week because it offers resources to people but also someone people can talk about things to. It’s important because not everyone knows what to do.”

“Green Dot” is not the only SRVSS event that aims to educate students about violence by implementing the use of visuals, Roberts said. SRVSS will host “The Clothesline Project” Wednesday and Thursday in the Student Center. 

Similarly to “Green Dot”, “The Clothesline Project” allows students to physically see how violence can be represented.  Instead of dots, “The Clothesline Project” displays T-shirts decorated with messages from sexual assault survivors and advocates, she said. 

While these programs may not be able to prevent violence from happening, they allow students to feel a sense of support and community through advocacy, Outman said. 

“The goal of Green Dot is to stop violence, and stop hate,” he said. “But it’s really about building a better community, and supporting each other if this violence happens.” 

If you or someone you know is a victim sexual violence or assault, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673. A list of SRVSS and other on-campus resources, as well as outside resources and more information, can be found here.

Kaitlyn Mitchell is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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