Going 'green' to end sexual violence

8:51 AM, Aug 20, 2011   |    comments
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  • MINNEAPOLIS --  There is a startling statistic that remains unchanged over the last 12 years.

    According to the FBI 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

    It is time, we, all of us, do something to change that.

    "Nobody has to do everything but everyone has to do something. We aren't telling people to go out there and change the world, go out there and change social norms," Sexual Violence Center Program Manager Jude Foster said Friday.

    There is an idea out there, by sexual violence prevention advocates, called project Green Dot.

    What that means is, in this program, a possible sexual offender is represented by a red dot, as is his or her intended target.

    In between are all of us, we are green dots.

    We are the 20-40 bystanders that are in between and we are the people who can do something to stop the act, before it starts.

    "There is no such thing as being neutral. A choice to stay neutral is to do nothing and that creates no change, no action," Prevention Program Coordinator Shereen Reda said.

    To act in this program is to follow the three d's.

    Direct.

    Distract.

    Delegate.

    "You can either directly intervene in a situation with the target or the person doing the targeting. Distract by allowing someone to get out of a situation by distracting them or delegate and ask someone for help," Reda said.

    It's just a fact that most violent acts occur over a period of time where people can intervene.

    They aren't all back alley random acts.

    Most of them bypass at least 20-40 people who see something, before it happens.

    Every one of us is a green dot.

    Every one of us has the power to intervene.

    It's time to change that disgusting statistic so it's up to all of us, to speak up directly, as a distraction, or as a delegate.

    "This is something that really needs to reach the masses. We are trying to create a social movement and we need numbers for that and we need everyone to do their part," Reda said.

    (Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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