Green Dot: A new approach to tackle sexual assault prevention

Green Dot: A new approach to tackle sexual assault prevention

Heidelberg University is gearing up for the implementation of Green Dot, an evidence-based bystander intervention program aimed at reducing and preventing dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.  Last week, a team of 8 Heidelberg employees became certified Green Dot instructors by attending a four-day instructor training.

The Green Dot Implementation Team, led by coordinators Ronee Rice and Head Football Coach Scott Donaldson, will launch the bystander intervention training this fall semester. This training is one of several initiatives that was funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Campus Program grant Heidelberg received.

“Our team left the training feeling empowered and capable of shifting the campus culture around the prevention of sexual violence,” said grant coordinator Ronee Rice, who also is the coordinator of the Center for Survivor Empowerment on campus. “We are looking forward to unveiling this program.”

The Green Dot Violence prevention program trains students, faculty and staff in bystander intervention to help prevent occurrences of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, Ronee explained. When these moments occur on our campus, they’re called red dots. A green dot is any behavior or choice that promotes safety for all of us and communicates intolerance for any form of sexual/relationship violence. That could mean actions such as defusing a situation through distraction, showing concern for someone who is at risk for being harmed, or even talking with friends and family and letting them know that addressing sexual violence matters.

The Green Dot prevention program equips participants with new actions and new ways of responding to a red dot situation. “Many people don’t intervene to prevent or de-escalate a situation of sexual violence because they’re not sure what to do or say,” Ronee said. “The Green Dot training will give participants confidence and the tools needed to effectively #LivetheGreenDot.”     

The Green Dot Implementation Team has representatives from various departments across campus. In addition to Ronee and Scott, certified instructors include Dennis LoConti, Residence Life Area Coordinator; John Sharp, Associate Director of Counseling; Cherrelle Gardner, Director of Multicultural Student Affairs; Dr. Meagan McBride, Assistant Professor of Graduate Counseling; Rachel Huth, Senior Security Officer; and Morgan Harrigan, Head Women’s Basketball Coach & Senior Women Administrator.

For students, faculty, and staff who are interested in learning more about Green Dot, please reach out to Ronee at rrice@heidelberg.edu.

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