Texas A&M University’s Bystander Intervention Program Receives State Recognition
Texas A&M University’s Green Dot program has been awarded the Outstanding Crime Prevention Program for 2019 by the Central Texas Crime Prevention Association.
Green Dot is a nationally recognized, evidence-based prevention program that provides individuals with the skills and knowledge to identify when acts of power-based personal violence are occurring and intervene appropriately and safely during high-risk situations.
The Green Dot program is administered by the Health Promotion team, which is part of the Offices of the Dean of Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs. The award announcement was delayed internally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Promotion officials said.
“We are thankful for both past and present faculty and staff facilitators who have continued to make this program a success, and we would not be here without the students, faculty and staff who consistently make Green Dot a priority for their departments, classes or organizations,” said Jazmin Jones, Health Promotion specialist.
Texas A&M has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to the prevention of power-based personal violence, including acts of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, university officials said. Since 2015, the Step In Stand Up campaign has served as a call to action for Texas A&M students, faculty and staff to end sexual violence on campus and in the communities in which they live and serve. The Green Dot program aligns with the “Step In” part of the Step In Stand Up campaign.
Kristi Hosea, a Green Dot facilitator from the Texas A&M University Police Department and member of the 2009 inaugural Green Dot Steering Committee, said in many situations, stepping in to help can be challenging.
“In Green Dot training, we teach, ‘See something, say something,’ but in real-life situations, internal obstacles sometimes get in the way,” she said. “We teach how to recognize the situation, what internal obstacles may keep us from getting involved, and options on how to help, despite the obstacles.”
Options include the “3Ds”: direct, delegate and distract. Be direct with the victim or perpetrator, delegate by telling someone else, or use a distraction technique to derail the situation. Participants are taught which options to use based on the situation or group dynamics.
Becoming knowledgeable about the Green Dot strategy is one of the most tangible ways anyone can serve as an ally who promotes violence prevention, bring awareness to the need for bystander intervention, and empower others to have informed conversations about these issues, Health Promotion officials said. Green Dot facilitators reach an average of nearly 2,500 Aggies each academic year.
With virtual instruction opportunities during the 2020-21 academic year, Health Promotion encourages every member of the Texas A&M community to become “Aggies on the Dot” by registering to attend open instructional sessions throughout the spring semester or specifically requesting the instruction as professional development for their specific student or staff teams.