One green dot at a time

By Meredith Swim
Green Dot Lexington Coordinator

Envision a map of our community. On that map, there are green dots.

A green dot represents a moment of safety. On a map, a green dot marks a specific moment in time when a bystander makes the conscious decision to take action to ensure safety for others.

A green dot is making sure everyone gets home from the concert safely.

A green dot is having a conversation with loved ones about the importance of looking out for one another and fellow community members.

A green dot is checking in on a friend who is potentially in a concerning relationship with a simple and profound text, “I want to let you know that I’m here for you.”

Envision this community map overflowing with green dots. A green dotted map symbolizes that our community does not tolerate any form of violence and everyone is expected to do his or her part, however seemingly small or insignificant, to keep this city safe.

Green Dot Lexington works to make this vision a reality by educating, engaging and empowering bystanders to take action.

Through free talks and training events, we encourage community members to reconsider their own influential power in preventing and reducing violence here in our city. There are two vital ways that Green Dot Lexington inspires bystanders to take action and contribute to putting more green dots – more moments of safety – on our community map:

First, we strengthen the personal tools needed to intervene by exploring different techniques that feel accessible, safe, and can effectively deescalate tension. Getting a person in a position of authority to help, checking in on the person we’re worried about, or causing a distraction to diffuse tension in the moment are a few ways we can put a green dot on the map.

Second, another way to place green dots on our map is by actively expressing an important value to prevent violence.

  • Talk with friends and family about why this topic is deeply important and prompt them to consider how they can contribute to creating a safer community.
  • Use social media as a platform to advocate the importance of this issue by sharing a story about a bystander who took action.
  • Volunteer at a local agency dedicated to uplifting survivors of interpersonal violence, or attend an event that benefits these agencies.

If we all choose to use a few of our moments as opportunities to promote our value of community safety, or ensure and guarantee safety for others, then we will all be contributing to collectively creating the safe community we all deserve.

Our everyday moments matter.

One green dot at a time. One moment of safety – of choosing to act, to speak, to rise and shape a safer city where in the state of unbridled freedom – we all live lives freed from violence and freed from the threat of violence.

Follow Green Dot Lexington on Facebook to keep talking about ending violence in our community.  Green Dot Lexington is supported with generous funding from the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Extended Social Resources program. This post is part of our 17 Voices campaign during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

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