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Washington and Lee University

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Start Doing Dots Today

Green Dot is built on the premise that in order to measurably reduce the perpetration of power-based personal 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.

On a large college campus, Sarah steps onto an elevator to find two young men attempting to coerce an intoxicated female student into getting off on their all-male floor. Just as the drunk girl is about to step off the elevator with the two men, Sarah touches her arm and simply says "This is the all-guys floor. Why don't you let me get you back to your room."

Marigail is submitting another online order of Green Dot lapel pins to her usual vendor. This time, the vendor writes back "What do these pins mean anyway?" Marigail sends back an email describing in detail the power and purpose of the Green Dot. Within hours, the vendor writes back "I have begun wearing the pin. I printed off your explanation, and whenever someone asks me what the pin means, I simply pull your explanation out of my pocket and give it to them to read. I've had three people just today ask me."

Jeff, a young fraternity pledge, has been designated as the sober driver for the evening. Upon receiving a call, he pulls to the front of the bar and picks up an older fraternity brother and a young woman he had never met. His fraternity brother instructs him to take them both back to his place. The woman protests that he had promised to get her back to her own house. His older brother insists that Jeff ignore the pleas of the women. With only a moments' hesitation, Jeff takes the girl back to her place.

Using "Green Dots for Men" as his guide, Alfred, a local police officer, strikes up a conversation with his son on the car ride home about men's powerful role in preventing violence.

Stopped at a red light, Mark notices a physical altercation in the car next to him. The male driver is grabbing his female passenger and yelling. When the light turns green, Mark pauses long enough to let the car pull in front, writes down the license plate numbers, and calls the cops to make a report.

Sandy notices a disturbance at a dance club. A woman appears to be getting increasing aggressive toward her girlfriend. Sandy keeps her eyes on the couple, while gathering some additional friends for support. They stay close until the situation calms, then several of them approach the apparent victim to check in and see if she needs additional help.

Meghan is pulling out of the driveway of an apartment complex where she was visiting friends, and notices a "creepy" guy hanging out nearby. She lingers long enough to try and figure out who the guy is and where he is going, but he doesn't leave and her gut is telling her he doesn't belong there. Though she is in a hurry, she stops by the police station on the way to share her concerns. At first, they appear to minimize her report, stating that the incident is happening outside of their jurisdiction. Meghan persists until the police leave to investigate.

Dan, a college dean, is concerned as his wife shares about a young student of hers who has just been removed from an abusive home. Aware the increased risk this young boy now faces of becoming a perpetrator himself, Dan begins spending one-on-one time with the boy each week before school--reading, mentoring, talking.

Kristen is watching a TV show with her guy friends when she sees something see feels is dismissive and objectionable to women. Despite some initial reluctance, she voices her opinion. At first a couple of the guys give her a hard time but then Pete speaks up and agrees with her. The other guys take note, and a conversation ensues.

The individuals who are responsible for these single green dot moments are not rare, unique individuals--but merely informed and motivated. Get educated. Get equipped. Act.