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UP tests Green Dot campaign to stop violence

February 4, 2013

University-of-PortlandUP receives Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) grant, to launch innovative “Green Dot” violence prevention initiative

By University of Portland

University of Portland is set to launch the “Green Dot” violence prevention initiative in 2013 after receiving a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). Green Dot is a comprehensive bystander intervention program that encourages individuals to intervene in incidents of power-based personal violence, such as stalking, dating violence, sexual assault and rape.

Help the Green Outnumber the Red. from Tanya L Crenshaw on Vimeo.

Sociology professor Martin Monto and University Health Center counselor Kristina Houck received the OVW grant to apply methods to reduce violence at UP. Research done by Monto prior to the implementation of Green Dot will allow the University to more accurately report its effectiveness.

The program begins this month with a campus-wide launch event. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend on Wednesday, January 30 at 8 p.m. in The Cove. Additional Green Dot training sessions will also be available later this semester. For more information, please visit, watch this video, and join the Green Dot at UPFacebook group.

The OVW grant funds a multi-faceted approach to violence response and prevention that includes creating a coordinated community response team, reviewing campus policies and protocols, increasing training for campus security officers and student conduct hearing officers, as well as providing mandatory education for all students.

The three primary goals of the grant are to 1) Reduce violence on campus; 2) Increase resource use among survivors; and 3) Increase reporting.

Green Dot provides education for students with the aim of preventing violence from occurring. Green Dot recognizes that the existence of violence is a result of individual actions, choices and behaviors that appear like red dots on a map. The solution is a reflection of the problem – each individual action, choice or behavior that intervenes to prevent violence from occurring or demonstrates an intolerance for violence is a green dot on the map. Green dots may include intervening to confront potential perpetrators or checking-in with victims, delegating by involving others or contacting someone in authority, or diffusing a potentially violent situation by distracting the participants.

The approach is particularly promising because it is non-adversarial and inclusive. It recognizes men and women as allies, providing skills necessary to intervene in individual and realistic ways. Additionally, it helps redefine sexual assault, stalking and dating violence as community concerns rather than individual issues and allows the community to proactively communicate that violence is simply unacceptable.

University of Portland community members are encouraged to tell their own violence prevention stories by creating a 90-second video telling what they saw or did. Using photos, stop-animation, or live-action drama, the Green Dot team wants to hear how people intervened (or saw friends intervene) safely and effectively. If you have a story but need help creating the video, please contact

For more information, visit or contact Kristina Houck of the University Health Center at  or 503-943-7134.

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Discuss this article

John Fairplay February 4, 2013

So when I “intervene” as part of this program to stop a violent act against a woman, and the rapist stabs or shoots me, will the Office of Violence Against Women pay my hospital costs? Can I sue them?

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