Ending violence...one green dot at a time

The Green Dots on the map below represent real actions that Anteaters took to promote safety or communicate intolerance for power-based personal violence in our UC Irvine community.

Click on a dot to see what took place.

What is a Green Dot? | Types of Green Dots

Add a Green Dot to the map

Visit www.livethegreendot.com for more information.

What is a Green Dot?

A Green Dot is any choice, behavior, or action that promotes safety for everyone and communicates intolerance for power-based personal violence in our UC Irvine community. A Green Dot is ANYTHING you can do to make our community safer.

Anteater in a Green Dot shirt presenting an animated map with red dots changing to green dots.
Visualize for a moment red dots spreading across a map of the US, symbolizing the spread of some terrible epidemic. Now imagine that the map is of our UCI community. Each red dot represents an act of power-based personal violence (partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, bullying, child abuse, or elder abuse) or a choice to tolerate, justify or perpetuate this violence.
  • A red dot is a threat of partner violence.
  • A red dot is a potential sexual assault.
  • A red dot is someone being stalked.
  • A red dot is an individual choice to do nothing in the face of a potentially high risk situation.

It's hard to know exactly how many red dots are on our map at any given moment, but we do know there have been enough red dots to create a culture that promotes bystander inaction and allows these forms of violence to continue.

Now imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots on your map. A green dot is any choice, behavior, or action that promotes safety for everyone and communicates intolerance for violence.

  • A green dot is pulling a friend out of a high risk situation.
  • A green dot is posting a bystander intervention video on your Facebook page
  • A green dot is striking up a conversation with a friend or family member about how much this issue matters to you.
  • A green dot is simply your individual choice at any given moment to make our world safer.

How many green dots will it take to begin reducing power-based personal violence? We cannot know the exact number, but we do know this: if most of us choose inaction, if most of us choose to close our eyes to this issue, if most of us choose apathy and indifference, then the red dots stand. If we do not begin replacing moments of violence with moments of support and safety, then we will surely continue to have more people become victims of violence. That is not OK. That must not be OK with any of us.

The power of the Green Dot is simple:

Red dots—bad.
Green dots—good.
You decide.

Types of Green Dots

Everyone can do Green Dots – no matter who you are, where you live, what you like, or what you do. Green Dots can be proactive or reactive.

Reactive Green Dots

Reactive Green Dots are choices and actions we make in response to potentially violent situations. This could include speaking up when you notice a couple arguing, walking a friend home when they’ve had too much to drink, or telling a friend to back off when you know the other person is not interested. Reactive Green Dots come in the form of the Three Ds: Direct, Distract, and Delegate.

DIRECT: Confront the situation directly

You can choose to address the potential target, asking that person directly if they feel safe or need help getting away from the concerning individual. You can also address the person who you think is about to commit an act of violence. Being direct, when safe, is a good way to quickly address the situation and prevent violence from occurring.

If you’re at a party or bar and see someone who appears to be drunk you could check in with them and ask, "Are you okay?"

If you witness someone exhibiting stalking behaviors, you can confront that person and say something like, "I'm walking with my friend to class right now. I think we're okay with just one escort."

A UCI student shared that he approached a couple he knew who were fighting and said, "It's not a good idea for the two of you to be together right now. I think you could both use some time to collect yourselves."

DISTRACT: Create a distraction that interrupts the situation

This technique involves causing some form of distraction that will interrupt and diffuse the situation before violence can occur. You can choose to distract the target, the person about to commit violence, or both. As long as the situation is diffused and nobody's safety is at risk, you can get creative with how you choose to distract.

You could interrupt a couple arguing to ask for directions.

You can tell someone at a party who won’t leave another person alone, "Hey, your car is getting towed!" or you could spill a drink on them.

A UCI student shared a story where she started singing "Happy Birthday" to help get her friend away from a stranger who had been trying to talk to her friend all night.

DELEGATE: Involve others and get help

If you don’t feel comfortable approaching a potentially violent situation alone, you can involve others. The goal of this approach is to involve another person who may be in a better position to prevent the violence from occurring.

One UCI student shared that she was at a party and told a friend she was with, "This situation doesn't look right. Can you find her friends while I stay and make sure nothing bad happens?"

A UCI graduate student shared that he called 9-1-1 when he overheard his neighbors arguing loudly for hours. He asked the police to check on the safety of the situation.

An undergraduate UCI student was concerned about her friend, who had shared that she was nervous about the repeated and obsessive texts she was getting. The student decided to tell her Resident Assistant (RA) to ask for advice and get help.

Proactive Green Dots

Proactive Green Dots are things we can do in our daily lives that make it less likely that violence, or red dots, will ever happen. This could include having a conversation with a friend about your stance against violence, wearing a Green Dot T-shirt, requesting a UCI CARE workshop for your group, or posting a bystander intervention story or video on social media.

Proactive Green Dots for Everyone

  • Send an e-mail to your contact list with the Green Dot website link and a simple message like, "This issue is important to me and I believe in the goal of reducing violence."
  • Change your e-mail signature line to include the statement, "Proud to be a supporter of Green Dot" and include the link to UC Irvine's Green Dot website.
  • Next time you are walking to class with a friend or taking a lunch break with a co-worker, have one conversation about Green Dot and tell your friend that ending violence matters to you.
  • Add the phrase "ending violence one Green Dot at a time" to your Facebook or Twitter account.
  • Make one announcement to a group or organization you are involved in, telling them about Green Dot.
  • Write a paper or do a class assignment on violence prevention.
  • Have conversations about ending violence with your friends and family.
  • Attend violence prevention events, such as UCI's Take Back the Night.
  • Check in with your friends if you are concerned about their safety and get them connected to local resources for help.
  • Look out for friends in places where alcohol is served to ensure that everyone arrives and leaves together (not alone).

Proactive Green Dots for Faculty

  • Get training from CARE and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity on the warning signs of potential abuse or violence and how to respond when you see them.
  • Bring in a Green Dot presentation for your departmental meeting.
  • Include a statement on your course syllabus that expresses support for victims of violence and intolerance of all forms of violence. You could include information for campus resources, such as the CARE office and Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
  • Where appropriate, bring educational programming on power-based person violence to your classes.
  • Become familiar with campus and community resources for violence prevention and response.
  • Assign readings or papers or journal topics on the issue of power-based personal violence.

Proactive Green Dots for Staff and Administrators

  • Recognize risk factors associated with violence and ensure that faculty, staff and students are provided with adequate policy and training to respond.
  • Talk with colleagues about your personal commitment to violence prevention and Green Dot.
  • Integrate references to the Green Dot initiative and the importance of violence prevention into speeches and public addresses.
  • Educate yourself and your staff about sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking and abuse.
  • Bring Green Dot training to your next staff meeting or in-service.