The Green Dot Program has set a goal to make Palm Beach County a safer place to live by reducing instances of violence, such as domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, bullying and stalking. Green Dot looks to empower professionals and community members by delivering fun and integrative bystander training, as well as action events to spread the message.
Housed within the Palm Beach County Public Safety Department’s Division of Victim Services, Green Dot focuses on not only proactive prevention, but safe and reactive intervention as well. A “green dot” is whenever an individual uses their words or actions to interrupt or diffuse a “red dot,” which is a violent or potentially violent situation.
Employing tools and tactics to reduce violence is a simple — yet bold — concept that asks everyone to be a better bystander. “The solution is simple: each person steps in and does his or her small part, the violence will come down, and our communities will become safer,” said Dr. Dorothy Edwards, founder of Alteristic; creator of the Green Dot Program.
Palm Beach County recently announced that more than 1,200 county employees have undergone Green Dot Bystander Training since its implementation in 2016. Employees have come from the following departments: Airports, Community Services, County Attorney, Engineering & Public Works, Facilities Development & Operation, Information Systems Services, Internal Auditor, Library, Parks & Recreation, Public Affairs, Public Safety and Youth Services.
According to the latest Green Dot Action Survey of those who are trained, more than 84 percent have reported that they are employing the strategy and sharing it with family and friends.
Green Dot is expanding its reach in 2018, and moving beyond Palm Beach County employees to the surrounding communities. Green Dot Action Week, June 24 through June 30, will feature a series of awareness events designed to draw in families, businesses and leaders in the Northwood/Pleasant City community in downtown West Palm Beach, and to encourage the implementation and reinforcement of the Green Dot message.
The week will feature a kickoff event and family barbecue at Blum Park, a chance for individuals to feature their headshot on a digital billboard downtown, and a family bowling event — all free and open to the public. To register for any of the Green Dot Action Week events, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/GDAction2018.
The goal of the program is to introduce the violence-reduction strategy to as many of the 5,500 (and growing) county employees and community members as possible by 2021. The takeaway is that nobody has to do everything, but everybody has to do something. The program is asking everyone: “What’s your Green Dot?”
To learn more about Green Dot, contact Palm Beach County Program Coordinator Clarice Redding at email@example.com or (561) 625-2560.