Lori Droege from the Women’s Crisis Center of Northern Kentucky visited the Maysville Young Professionals on Monday to discuss the importance of the Green Dot program.
Green Dot is a nationally recognized strategy focused on preventing power-based personal violence, according to Droege.
“We want to establish a world where the third person involved has a way to stop violence,” Droege said.
Before diving into the details of Green Dot, Droege gave some statistics to the group from a 2010 survey conducted in Kentucky.
In that survey, it was found that 45.3 percent of women and 35.5 percent of men reported experiencing violence at the hands of their partner, 39.1 percent of women and 18.3 percent of men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact and 18.7 per 1,000 children had experienced abuse.
“That was just in Kentucky,” Droege said. “According to the numbers, Kentucky has the second highest rate of child abuse in the country. The number one state was Massachusetts. That shows me a lot of moments for intervention and that’s what Green Dot is about.”
Droege asked the group to think about someone they loved, someone very important to them and then to picture that person in a situation where they were being harmed.
“Now, picture that someone is in the room and watching this happen, but they’re not doing anything about it. Who are angrier with?” she asked.
Several people said while they would be angry at the person committing the violence, they would be just as angry at the person watching and doing nothing to help.
She then asked everyone what they would do in a situation where a parent was in line at the grocery store with a child who was not listening and was causing a ruckus.
“Imagine the parent is getting flustered and upset,” she said. “They’re embarrassed and looking tired.”
Some people in the group said they would talk to the parent and try to make them feel better and others said they would try to engage the child and talk to them to keep them preoccupied in order to calm the child down.
“There’s no right or wrong answer here,” Droege said.
Droege said in order to make the world a safer place for the younger generation, the culture must change.
“Culture changes all the time,” she said. “Small decisions lead to one big change. Green Dot is a choice/action that stops a red dot. It’s a small decision that affects bigger change. When we have more green than red the numbers start to go down.”
A Green Dot training, cosponsored by the Maysville Young Professionals and the Human Rights Commission, will be held on Aug. 18. A time and location will be decided at a later date. A 0.5K will also be held on June 16 at 3 p.m. for the Green Dot initiative.
The City of Maysville is continuing to work toward becoming a Green Dot city.
The Women’s Crisis Center and the city of Maysville 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.
Officials said there is also an opportunity for a second $25,000 grant through the Gannett Foundation.
“This $25,000 grant is awarded to two campaigns that have the most donors,” city officials said.
For those who donated $25, they will receive a Green Dot button and pen, those who donate $50 will get a Green Dot button, pen and a shout out on Facebook, those who donate $100 will get a button, pen, shout out and a Green Dot bystander training dedication.