April Tools to End Violence

 

On Saturday, April 1st, Green Dot Alaska communities will host simultaneous bystander training events in their communities, coinciding with Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and National Public Health Week. For the third year, Green Dot communities in Homer, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Kenai and Nome are uniting to turn awareness into action.

April Action Month begins by “connecting the dots,” with a simultaneous bystander training in multiple Green Dot communities on the first of the month. “April Tools to End Violence” welcomes parents and supportive adults in the lives of the students engaged in Green Dot at Homer High School. The focus of this training will be how parents and mentors can support students’ efforts to reduce bullying, dating abuse, and sexual violence in their school by promoting social norms that are intolerant of violence.

What: April Tools to End Violence

Who: Parents of students in 8th-12th grade and community members who support youth

Where: Homer High School Library

When: Saturday, April 1st 10 am – 2:30pm. Lunch provided, RSVP required: greendothomer@gmail.com

Community members can also join the challenge any time in April by visiting www.greendotalaska.com and committing to actions that will make a difference.

Child abuse and sexual assault are significant public health challenges. Building a violence-free community requires avid community involvement. The bystander approach gives everyone the chance to be involved.

Green Dot is based on a community of responsibility model and shows promising results in university (Baynard, et al. 2007, Coker et al. 2011) and high school settings (Hautala, 2014). This community-engaged project focuses on violence prevention for high school students and the adults in their lives, and on the Southern Kenai Peninsula (SKP), there is a clear need.

According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), one in four students at traditional high schools on the SKP had been bullied on school property in the last 12 months (24.9%, CI 18.4% to 32.8%). Over one tenth (11.1%) of students who were currently dating someone had been forced to do sexual things they did not want to do within the past 12 months (CI 6.5%-18.3%, 2015 YRBS, SKP Traditional High Schools). Physical dating violence was experienced by 7.6% (CI 3.7% – 14. 9%) of high school students on the Southern Kenai Peninsula during the past 12 months.

The mission of Green Dot Homer is to “empower, educate and inspire our community to reduce violence.” Green Dot’s approach sparks interactive discussions and activities that cover early, immediate and post-crisis indicators of interpersonal violence, barriers to intervening, and creative, realistic solutions. Workshops are free, offered by a team of certified volunteer instructors. Homer High School became the first high school in Alaska to join the movement in fall 2015.

Banyard V.L., Moynihan M.M., Plante E.G. (2007).  Sexual Violence Prevention Through Bystander Education: An Experimental Evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 35, No. 4, 463–481

Coker et al. Evaluation of Green Dot: An Active Bystander Intervention to Reduce Sexual Violence on College Campuses. Violence Against Women, 17(6) 777-796, Sage Publications, 2011.

Hautala, K. (2014). ‘Green Dot’ Effective at Reducing Sexual Violence. UKnow, University News. University of Kentucky Press. Accessed online: https://uknow.uky.edu/research/green-dot-effective-reducing-sexual-violence

Tara SchmidtApril Tools to End Violence

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