Talk to a friend or family member about interpersonal violence.
Share a positive bystander story on your social media site.
Ask your supervisor if your staff could sign up for a bystander training.
If you see something that makes you uncomfortable, do something.
A green dot is any action that helps create a safer community. By adding your voice and your commitment to ending violence, we can create a safer community.
Fundamentally, violence is a collection of individual choices to do harm. And each choice to do harm is a red dot on our map. A red dot is a moment in time where someone’s words, choices or actions contribute to or tolerate violence in any way. Our goal is to combat these red dots with positive green dots.
This approach just means you are directly interacting with the people involved in the situation and addressing that you are concerned. It may be a confrontation “Hey—what are you doing?”, or it may just be checking in with a friend or family member “Are you OK?”.
When you recognize a red dot situation and you may be uncomfortable saying something yourself or you feel like someone else is better suited to handle it (i.e. a friend, police, bartender, VPSO, trusted family member, elder), delegate is a solid option. Here you are asking someone else to help in the situation. They may help you—or they may do it instead of you.
If you see a situation and can think of a way to divert the attention of the people in the situation or change the focus, distract is the perfect option. Sometimes all a situation needs to diffuse is a little diversion.
In the following scenarios, which of the 3 D’s would you most likely use:
At a local restaurant or bar, you notice someone trying to take advantage of someone who has been drinking.
DIRECT: Checking in with the person who has been drinking and making sure they get home safe or challenging the person who is trying to take advantage.
DELEGATE: Alerting the bartender or finding the friends of the person who has been drinking to check in.
DISTRACT: Spill a drink to create a situation to check in or start a conversation to keep them from leaving.
A caregiver seems out of control with their young son at the park.
DIRECT: “Can I help?” or “It might be helpful to take a few breaths. I know kids can be a challenge, but I think the situation can be taken care of if you are able to calm down.
DELEGATE: Ask another bystander in the park to come with you to check in.
DISTRACT: Start a conversation with the child or with the caregiver; let your dog run to them; bounce a ball to them; drop your purse or bag next to them.