North Texas Daily

New bystander intervention training program coming to UNT

New bystander intervention training program coming to UNT

September 13
20:03 2017

Later this semester, the Dean of Students will introduce the Green Dot program, a program that aims to train students to help prevent violence on UNT’s campus.

The Green Dot etc. strategy looks to prevent violence through the help of bystanders. The strategy can apply to every member of the community, no matter the culture, socioeconomic level or status of the individual. Green Dot enforces the idea that anyone can help prevent violence through education, awareness and skills-practice.

The Green Dot etc. strategy was created by Dr. Dorothy J. Edwards in 2010, who received her Ph.D. from Texas Women’s University.

A five-year study by Dr. Ann L Coker, a researcher at the University of Kentucky that was funded by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) looked at 26 different high schools and surveyed almost 90,000 students. In the study, 13 schools implemented the program while 13 did not. The results compared the differences between the two groups and concluded Green Dot reduced sexual violence by 17-21 percent.

“Not only did they see reductions in sexual assault, these reductions applied to both perpetration and victimization,” Edwards said in a video detailing the results of the study. “And they saw similar results for sexual harassment, dating violence and stalking.”

Renee McNamara, assistant director for student advocacy, crisis intervention and violence began looking last year for intervention programs to implement on campus when she discovered Green Dot. McNamara described the program as being very “interactive,” giving real world scenarios along with important group discussions.

“There are a lot of studies on it that have shown reductions in violence in communities that have implemented it,” McNamara said.

During the spring semester of 2017, McNamara took the first step in bringing the training program to UNT by hosting a six-week institute. In these six weeks, about 35 faculty and staff members went through training to become certified Green Dot instructors.

Rebekah Moreno, risk management staff member at UNT, was among those who went through the training and has high hopes for the outcome of the program.

After hearing about the Green Dot program from McNamara, Moreno did some research of her own and said she was interested in all of the studies that have backed up the strategies.

Moreno explained “the tool kit” given to the faculty, staff and administration during the institute were “hands-on, real life examples,” and a great way to show them what they can do and how to support all students on campus.

“I think UNT will have another voice and definitely empower students,” Moreno said.

After spending the semester going over practiced material, McNamara and the newly certified trainers are excited about helping students further prevent violence.

“Our goal is always to help educate our community on what we can do to help intervene with this issue and raise awareness,” McNamara said.

Through the training program, students will learn how to prevent and stop instances of violence. Integrative studies senior Kaelin Williams said the training may be helpful, as instances of violence can break out anywhere.

“You just never know when a situation like that can happen, especially at parties or Fry Street,” Williams said. “Sometimes trying to defuse a situation can often times make it worse.”

Featured Image: Assistant Director for Student Advocacy, Renee McNamara, heads the Green Dot Program. This will be the first year the Green Dot Program is implemented on campus. Cameron Roe

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Kayla Goode

Kayla Goode

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