‘Green Dot’ strategy aims to create safer environments in Owensboro
OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The “Green Dot” is a nationally recognized program that focuses on bystander intervention.
Spearheaded in Owensboro by New Beginnings, it hopes to equip people with the necessary tools to help reduce harmful interactions.
“To be active bystanders, so that when they see a situation, they know what to do and how they can intervene and make that situation stop,” said Ronda Howard, Prevention Coordinator at New Beginnings.
New Beginnings is an organization that focuses on sexual assault resources for victims. The organization is also in charge of Green Dot training.
“We’re not only preventing violence against others, but those children who are being taught green dot also have a chance to experience that prevention,” said Andrea Robinson, Executive Director at OASIS.
Robinson says the training a person or business receives can influence the way a situation turns out.
“If I see a situation going on, my intervention, whatever that looks like, may help save somebody’s life,” Robinson said.
According to a 2019 FBI report, Owensboro ranked fourth in the state in the number of violent crimes committed. The only cities ahead of Owensboro were Bowling Green, Lexington and Louisville.
A 2017 University of Kentucky study found that Kentucky high schools that implemented the program saw a 50% decrease in sexual violence.
“Creating a community at Brescia, or wherever, just like a community in Owensboro, where everybody is expected to step in to make the community safer,” said Terri Crowe, Grant Director in the Office on Violence Against Women at Brescia University.
Green Dot training aims at increasing bystander intervention in harmful situations, whether it be at a bar, a park or even on a college campus.
Brescia University went through the training in February. Crowe hopes students, staff and faculty feel empowered to step in.
“[I hope] That the members of the campus community will not only utilize the Green Dot information and strategy there, but to take it wherever they go,” Crowe said.
Howard says the Green Dot sticker can help people identify where staff is ready in case they encounter a potentially harmful situation.
“They know that the staff has been trained and they know what to do to intervene in a situation where somebody may be in harm’s way,” Howard said.
Howard hopes to eventually have Owensboro reach Green Dot city recognition, which requires that 15% of three sub-groups in the city are trained.
She says 12 places in Owensboro have so far gone through and been designated as Green Dot locations.
If you’re interested in becoming Green Dot certified, you can reach out to New Beginnings via their website for additional information.
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