Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

At the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center, one of our lasting hopes is to work ourselves out of a job. We are committed to our mission of eradicating sexual violence in the 17 counties we serve (and beyond) through education, counseling, and advocacy. The primary goal of our education is prevention.

There is no logical reason why we as a community have to accept sexual violence as the norm. Our current rates of sexual violence do not have to stay that way. Starting today, if most of us found our place in this work, we could see the rates of violence decrease tomorrow.

Our education is based in three beliefs:

  1. Most people are not violence and do not want the people in their life to get hurt.
  2. Most violence and the precursors to violence takes place in the presence of bystanders.
  3. Most people want to keep others safe, but they don’t always know how.

At BRCC, we have taken our place in a movement to help address the reality of violence and the reality of those three points. It’s called Green Dot. Green Dot is a program, training, philosophy, and movement that speaks directly to bystanders (which is all of us at different points).

We train on how all of us, can find our moment, our green dot, to make our community safer. Green Dot says no one has to everything, but everyone has to do something. You don’t have to put on a cape and save the day (but if you do, send us a picture!).

But would you be willing to have a conversation with loved ones about eradicating violence and why its important to you? Or check in on someone who seems like they might be in harm’s way? Or make sure the people at your job know you are a safe person to talk to?

BRCC implements the Green Dot program in high schools, colleges, and communities. By 2014, we will have also helped expand the Green Dot into middle schools. The program consists of trainings to faculty, staff, parents, students, and community members.

The focus of the trainings and presentations is to discuss the reality of power based personal violence (sexual violence, partner violence, bullying, and stalking), how we as bystanders have the power to prevent it, and to equip our community with the skills and knowledge necessary to intervene and change societal norms around violence.

Currently, we have reached over 4,000 people in our service area with Green Dot. We have witnessed and assisted schools and communities take this issue on and work to create a community free from the fear of violence.

Green Dot is a research based, data driven program that has already show effectiveness in increasing bystander response. BRCC is committed to bringing the most effective programs and education to our 17 counties.

Hate violence? Welcome to the movement.

For more information about Green Dot or any other education question, contact our Prevention Coordinator, Taryn Henning at taryn.henning@bluegrassrapecrisis.org