Contact Name: Dr. Dorothy J. Edwards
Phone Number: (571) 319-0354
E-mail: [email protected]
Key Words: (1) Co-ed; (2) high school and college age; (3) bystander intervention; (4) high school, college, and community-based setting; (5) social marketing
This community-based program targets all members of the community as potential bystanders through peer and cultural influences across the socio-ecological model. It engages bystanders through awareness, education, and skills-practice with proactive and safe reactive bystander interventions. It also engages and educates influential community members to facilitate a social movement that harnesses the power of peer influence and individual bystander choices to create lasting culture change, resulting in a reduction of power-based personal violence.
Medium used to convey message
The Green Dot training involves an overview speech, bystander training (6 hours to 2 days), and a social marketing campaign.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
“The model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them, through awareness, education, and skills-practice, in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations – resulting in the ultimate reduction of violence. Specifically, the program targets influential and respected individuals from across community subgroups. The goal is for these groups to engage in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. By doing so, new norms will be introduced and those within their sphere of influence will be significantly influenced to move from passive agreement that violence is wrong, to active intervention.”
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
“The Green Dot etc. curriculum is informed by concepts and lessons learned from bodies of research and theory across disciplines including: violence against women, diffusion of innovation, public health, social networking, psychology, communications, bystander dynamics, perpetration, and marketing/advertising. Additionally, since the foundation of Green Dot etc. is built upon the necessity of achieving a critical mass of individuals willing to engage in new behaviors, it is important that we strive to recognize and address anything within our efforts that might be limiting engagement including historical obstacles in the field of violence prevention and professional and personal obstacles we all face. Finally, in contrast to historical approaches to violence prevention that have focused on victims and perpetrators, the Green Dot etc. strategy is predicated on the belief that individual safety is a community responsibility and shifts the lens away from victims/perpetrators and onto bystanders. The overarching goal is to mobilize a force of engaged and proactive bystanders.”
Level of evaluation
In 2011, an academic study evaluating the effectiveness of Green Dot on a college campus in Kentucky was published by Ann Coker, finding that hearing an overview speech and attending a bystander training were each associated with decreased rape myth acceptance and increased self-reported bystander intervention behaviors. Students who had both heard an overview speech and attended a training had higher associations with these outcomes than students who only heard an overview speech.
Coker 2011 Evaluation of Green Dot.pdf
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In 2014, a second academic study evaluated the effectiveness of Green Dot on a college campus in comparison to 2 other college campuses that did not get Green Dot training. The study found that the campus where Green Dot trainings were held had lower rates of certain kinds of sexual violence victimization and perpetration. Victimization and perpetration were similarly lower among students at that campus that received Green Dot training than among students at the same campus who were not trained. The evaluation can be found at the link below:
Evaluation of the Green Dot Bystander Intervention to Reduce Interpersonal Violence Among College Students Across Three Campuses, 2014. Ann L. Coker, Bonnie S. Fisher, Heather M. Bush, Suzanne C. Swan, Corrine M. Williams, Emily R. Clear, Sarah DeGue.
In 2017, a study detailing a five-year randomized control trial (RCT) and including 26 high schools in Kentucky was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The findings show that student-level sexual violence perpetration rates were reduced by 17-21% in years 3 and 4 of the study. Researchers also saw similar patters in dating violence, stalking, and sexual harassment victimization. The report can be found here:
RCT Testing Bystander Effectiveness to Reduce Violence, 2017. Ann L. Coker, PhD, MPH, Heather M. Bush, PhD, Patricia G. Cook-Craig, PhD, Sarah A. DeGue, PhD, Emily R. Clear, MPH, Candace J. Brancato, MS, Bonnie S. Fisher, PhD, Eileen A. Recktenwald, MSW.
All staff delivering Green Dot trainings must be formally trained by Green Dot etc. Costs of training vary: see