Several people turned out for Green Dot training Wednesday, to learn more about being an active bystander in abusive situations.
The training was held at the Mason County Health Department from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and focused on domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse.
Christy Burch, executive director of the Women’s Crisis Center in Maysville, was the coordinator of the training.
She started the program with having everyone introduce themselves and writing down what worried them when they think about violence in the community.
Some wrote they were afraid their children would not grow up a safe community and their children would not know how to defend themselves.
After reading the responses, Burch told the participants what Green Dot was about.
Burch pulled up a map of the United States that was covered in red dots.
“A red dot is when a person hurts another person,” she said. “A green dot is a choice someone makes to stop a red dot from happening. We want to have more green dots than red dots. The point is to let everyone know that violence is not OK.”
According to Burch, the training will give bystanders the tools they need to know how to step in and help stop a red dot situation.
“The point of training is for you to decide your role as a bystander,” she said.
According to Burch, there are two types of bystanders — those who are reactive and those who are proactive.
A reactive bystander sees signs and responds to the situation to stop, while proactive bystanders are people who take steps to make sure the situation does not happen.
One part of Wednesday’s training included having the participants watch a video in which two professionals actors portrayed a couple in a public park. The man was acting as an angry boyfriend, who was trying to force his girlfriend to not leave, while the girl portrayed the victim.
In the video, 92 men and 100 women were filmed with five men and 14 women stopping to assist the woman or calling the police.
When the video was over, Burch asked for a response from the group.
Ray Schaeffer, one of the participants said he was disappointed with the lack of response from men about the situation.
“I’m angry and disappointed in my gender,” he said.
The training lasted for four hours, with participants answering questions and taking part in exercises to help them better understand the importance of being a proactive or reactive bystander.
Burch also gave a little bit of background on the Green Dot program.
It began at the University of Kentucky and is now used in 48 states. It is also used in high schools with a focus on bullying and in churches.
“The Limestone Ministerial Association said this was something that aligned with their faith,” she said. “I’ve talked about the program in a lot of churches in the area. We now also use this program in the schools and talk about bullying.”
Burch said she wants to see Maysville become a Green Dot city.
“The goal is to have Maysville be the first Green Dot city in the nation,” she said.
The city of Maysville is continuing to work toward becoming a Green Dot city.
The Women’s Crisis Center and the city worked together to raise more than $6,100 on crowdrise.com, making the city eligible for up to $100,000 in funding from the A Community Thrives and the Gannett Foundation.
According to officials, the money will go toward making Maysville the first Green Dot city in the nation.
“We know how great and effective Green Dot is, but we need your help getting us to that goal so the Gannett Foundation can find out why Green Dot is so important and all the great work Maysville’s doing to become the first Green Dot City,” officials said on the fundraising page.