SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE Colo.- --
When it comes to changing the environment, the Green Dot program has an arsenal of assets to make a change for the better. However, individuals truly make the difference.
Environment centers around society, its norms and people. It can be as broad as the Schriever community, or as condensed as a close-knit circle of friends. Green Dot refers to not just one environment, but multiple.
For a long time it was perceived violence was just another component of our environments.
“People may have grown up in certain cultures or certain families where they have witnessed violence, and they may not necessarily see the harm in it for certain situations and they minimalize it,” said Dr. Ken Robinson, Schriever’s Specialist for the Primary Prevention of Violence. “I think we need to rise above that and understand we all have purpose, if one of our fellow Airmen is a victim a violence, as much as they’re hurting we should hurt for them as well as it affects all of us.”
Part of changing this misconception is getting involved with the community, especially on base. Participating in community events provides a direct impact for individuals to make a difference.
“Get involved with activities where you get engaged with our fellow Airmen,” said Robinson. “Sports programs, social events, base-wide functions. Maybe invite someone to your home for dinner, things that further develop a sense of community. Anything you can do to better the environment and restore our community.”
A barrier for some to take action may be the resultant negative impacts in their environments for reporting someone of higher rank or a co-worker.
"Evaluate the situation and the pros and cons of reporting it," said Airman 1st Class Krystal Conkling, Green Dot facilitator. "Just think, if you were to put yourself in the shoes of the person or their family, you would want someone to step in."
Green Dot training explains multiple ways individuals can diffuse violent situations.
"During the Green Dot training, you learn different routes, different ways you can report things," said Conkling. "The training gives you an outlet to use, so if you have certain barriers, you know there are different ways to go about reporting."
1st Lt. Heather Newman, Green Dot program engineer for Schriever, advocates for individuals to use these different methods.
"I think the biggest piece of encouragement that we give and that we teach is that your intervention in a situation doesn’t have to be in the way that we have traditionally thought about or taught bystander intervention,” said Newman. “I think just letting people know that those tools exist as well and that they are just as acceptable, opens people's minds to the idea that they too can intervene."
While the base seems to be embracing the program, with 54 percent of the base trained by Green Dot, there is still room for improvement, said Newman.
“There has been a lot of excitement about the early adopter workshop, which is really cool to see because it is my favorite class to teach, but it is also the one that gives you the most insight into the program and what we are trying to do. I think a big difference will be made when we release our first action event next week and we get people out in their environments trying to change the norms even more,” she said.
Green Dot has already been used as a tool for change, through spreading awareness of violence prevention and intervention to base personnel. With the program's help, it can open people’s eyes to more ways they can make a difference in their environments, making violence not a frequent part of them, but a trait of the past.
For more information about the Green Dot program visit https://www.livethegreendot.com .