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Green Dot Initiative combats domestic violence

Ashley Charnley | Thursday, October 28, 2010

An initiative to prevent domestic violence has helped 13 Saint Mary’s students so far this school year, director of the Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) Connie Adams said.

Adams presented to the Student Government Association (SGA) at its meeting Wednesday to discuss the Green Dot program, an initiative to help prevent domestic violence.

BAVO began its office this year at the College, and the fact that students have used it shows the need for this kind of action on campus, Adams said.

“There is such a need here and these are issues that affect all of us,” she said.

The Green Dot Initiative encourages people to not ignore violence or situations that may lead to violence when they see it, Adams said.

“Green dots are very simple decisions, very simple actions we can take in our everyday lives,” she said. “[Green dots are] those times when you witness something that doesn’t seem quite right [and] finding ways when you see those things happen that you can really do something about it, taking that extra step.”

Adams said there are many different motives why people avoid these situations, even when they suspect violence may be an issue.

“There are a lot of reasons we don’t take that extra step; we’re embarrassed, we wonder if what we see is really what we see, or we’re shy and don’t want to get noticed,” she said.

According to Adams, one in four women will experience violence in their lifetime, which creates red dots, or acts of violence that she said do not need to be the case.

“If we do nothing it is an acceptance of what is happening and every time we accept it, it’s a red dot,” she said.

For students interested in helping with the program can attend an informational meeting in the basement of Holy Cross today at 7:30 p.m. There will also be a training session on Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for students. Adams said there are limited slots, so students should RSVP if they are interested.

Students who are interested can contact her at cadams@saintmarys.edu.

Rachael Chesley, student body president, also discussed two new SGA initiatives being launched next week; the Board’s new website and its Discount Program, which will provide student discounts at select vendors when they are out in the South Bend community.

Chesley said the Board will be working to market the website to students and hopefully making it part of the “Quicklinks” on the main Saint Mary’s site.

“We want to try to get students to utilize it now so it becomes more habitual and they use it all the time,” Chesley said.

Information about the Discount Program will be included on the new website. Students will be able to use their ID cards to receive the discounts.

“[Students] don’t have to register for it,” Chesley said. “It’s just a benefit for students.”