The Green Dot strategy is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model. Informed by social change theory, the model targets all community members as potential bystanders and seeks to engage them through awareness, education, and skills-practice. Green Dot reduces violence by teaching proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations.
Specifically, the program targets influential and respected individuals from across community subgroups with the goal of engaging them in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. As a result, they will introduce new norms, and people within their sphere of influence will be significantly influenced to move from passive agreement that violence is wrong to active intervention.
Conceptually, Green Dot is comprised of three basic components:
1) A single choice in one moment in time to use your voice, actions or choices to make one small corner of the world safer.
Green Dot is built on the premise that in order to measurably reduce the perpetration of power-based interpersonal violence, a cultural shift is necessary. In order to create a cultural shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in a new behavior or set of behaviors that will make violence less sustainable within any given community. The “new behavior” is a Green Dot.
2) A shared vision that creates momentum through the power of a common language and purpose.
In isolation, even the most determined single Green Dot can dissolve into silent resignation when faced with a task as daunting as changing our culture. The power of Green Dot is the momentum that can be created and sustained when individuals see themselves in connection with others as a part of something ultimately bigger than the sum of its parts.
3) A social movement that harnesses the power of peer influence and individual bystander choices to create lasting culture change resulting in the ultimate reduction of power-based personal violence.
Power-based interpersonal violence happens to such a staggering degree that the only workable solution must involve a broad-based social movement. Each significant stride in human rights has been fueled by and built upon a social movement, consisting of a critical mass of individuals simply raising their voices and saying, “This is no longer acceptable. Today is the day we reclaim our fundamental right to something better.” One Green Dot at a time, this is our moment in history to reclaim our right to live free of violence and the fear of violence.