Could Green Dots Help Save the World?

green dotsThe University of West Virginia has come up with an intriguing new system that is designed to wipe out violence in the town.

This is called the Green Dot Programme, and it aims to get rid of violent incidents and replace them with a rejection of the violent culture.

A green dot represents an occasion when someone takes a strong action to prevent violence.

Violence can take the form of bullying as well as actual incidents of violence, and the programme believes that there is a strong culture of violence in the town surrounding the university. The aim of the Green Dot Programme is to prevent that.

The Green Dot is an analogy, where participants are invited to imagine the town as a map, with red dots indicating moments or places where violence has taken place, or even where someone has said or done something that supports a violent culture. Green dots represent times when someone actively rejects violence or the culture of violence. People who are taking part in Green Dot Training are asked to imagine this map and to consider the impact of ensuring that there are more green dots than red dots. The organisers of the programme truly believe that the only way to get rid of the culture of violence is to create a ‘map’ where the number of green dots greatly outweighs the number of red dots.

Wilmoth, the creator of the programme, classifies violence as rape, partner violence, bullying, stalking and other associated crimes, and characterises these as part of the US’s ‘tragically violent culture’.

Student liaison officers are attempting to bring the programme to the university, in order to increase the wellbeing of students, who often have their wellness at university affected by violence, or violence-related behaviour. They view it as a model of personal empowerment, so that everyone can feel that they are doing their bit, whether they are directly involved in violence or merely bystanders.

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