Green Dot to increase training in violence prevention

Brittany Anderson

The Office of Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services drives the nationwide Green Dot Bystander Program to Kent State, with hopes of doubling the amount of people trained in violence prevention.

In its first year, the Green Dot program had more than 350 faculty, staff and students go through full training, and more than 1,000 people went through an overview talk about Green Dot.

SRVSS would like to see these numbers spread rapidly across Kent’s campus to ensure that everyone can be a proactive bystander.

“We went over every day scenarios like being at a party and seeing someone slip something in someone’s cup, and what to do if you don’t want to get totally involved. You could always call the police,” said senior Erin Faltinsky, a visual communication design major.

Faltinsky learned about Green Dot through her gender and communications class, where SRVSS team did a workshop on how to be aware of and prevent violence. She is now officially trained to help other people with the bystander program.

“Green Dot is impacting Kent State so much because most of us go to parties and are drinking and it is important that we know what to do in situations where we need to protect ourselves and others,” Faltinsky said.

 “To me, green dot is whenever you see a situation where someone could be harmed or sexually assaulted, you step in and don’t just stand by and watch it go down,” senior political science major Drew Canfield said.

Many people have come across a situation where they had to make a decision whether or not to intervene. The point when they decide to act on a red situation is when they’ve made a Green Dot stand against violence.

“I saw a girl literally being carried by a man leaving the club one night out with my friends,” Canfield said. “I went over to them and asked if she was okay or needed help and if she knew the guy. They had known each other for a while, but it was just shocking to see a grown man carrying a woman and everyone turned a blind eye.”

Sexual assault response coordinator Jennifer O’Connell said the ultimate goal of the program is to change the culture of the campus, and getting everyone to know they have a role to play.

 “What Green Dot can do is teach you some of your options, is there something you can do to maybe not get directly involved but indirectly to deescalate the situation to prevent that red dot from occurring?” O’Connell, sexual assault response coordinator, said.

Contact Brittany Anderson at [email protected].