Making students aware of relationship violence

Making students aware of relationship violence

What’s your green dot?

UMBC student affairs developed an organization called Green Dot to promote violence awareness and prevention. They are holding a training session next week. This organization seems to be very beneficial to students and the UMBC community.

The best friend of a UMBC student has been involved in a highly toxic relationship for over a year. There were signs: bruises, comments and eventually a full-on handprint. That student did not realize how to stop it or even discuss it.

Another student’s family member was also the victim of relationship violence. Hearing about it after it was over left the student feeling hopeless, feeling like they could have helped but didn’t.

These anonymous recollections by students relate incidents of relationship abuse. When help is not sought out in these situations, it leads to the manifestation of violent behavior. UMBC has established a movement to spread awareness of these circumstances and to provide education for students on handling abuse while promoting a safer community overall.

On Feb 28, UMBC student affairs is holding yet another Green Dot training session. It begins promptly at 11 a.m. in Commons 329 and ends at 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

A common theme arises from the stories shared by these students: a desire to stop the violence taking place. For those who feel conflicted or helpless when witnessing these situations, like they should do something but are unaware of the proper precautions for moving forward, the Green Dot training sessions can help. Within this program, students are educated about being active bystanders. They are taught how to react and how to prevent the violent behavior from escalating.

The organization wants to proactively build a culture that does not tolerate violence. According to statistics from student affairs, 97 percent of participants in Green Dot trainings at UMBC said they would do something or get assistance if they spot a difficult situation. Based on those percentages, it seems as though the training program is a rather positive influence to UMBC students.

Kim Leisey, the vice president of student affairs, has noticed that students have really benefited from the training.

Leisey said, “Students learned how to act even when scared.” Students have begun to realize they can make a significant impact to the community. Sometimes, all it takes is a boost of confidence and being attuned to common warning signs.

All students should clearly participate in this cause. Not only does it improve a student’s education about violence, it changes the atmosphere of the campus.

Be a part of the change. Become a green dot.

Image by James Gallagher for TRW