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BAVO hosts Green Dot Activism Week

| Tuesday, November 10, 2015

GreenDotEric Richelsen

The Saint Mary’s Belles Against Violence Office (BAVO) is hosting a Green Dot Activism Week at the College to encourage students to take action against sexual violence.

Connie Adams, director of BAVO, said “Green Dots” are simple decisions made to make communities safer and can include actions, words, behaviors and attitudes that express an utter intolerance for violence and promote safety and support.

“‘Green Dots’ are moments when we take ownership over our community and demonstrate that violence is not one of our community values,” she said in an email.

The YWCA will be on campus Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Stapleton Lounge to share information about how to support a friend or family member who has experienced power-based personal violence, Adams said.

“It can be difficult to know what to do when confronted with a situation directly, especially because we could know the person who was victimized or who perpetrated the act,” she said.

A “green out” is scheduled for Wednesday, Adams said.

“It’s a simple act to wear green to demonstrate the fact you care about this issue, but imagine how powerful it will be to see green everywhere,” she said.

Adams said nationally-known speaker Tom Santoro will be on campus Thursday at 7 p.m. in Rice Commons to deliver a presentation on dating violence and warning signs.

“Mr. Santoro has been touring the country for nearly two decades, and he is retiring from this work,” she said, referencing Santoro’s public speaking on his and his family’s traumatic experience with dating violence. “We are his final presentation of ‘Dear Lisa.’ He also shares a powerful personal story.”

Other events this week include signing a pledge to be an active bystander and frosting a cookie in the dining hall, Adams said.

“We will also have a display of red solo cups in the Student Center Atrium demonstrating the number of students impacted by sexual assault based upon the national statistic,” she said. “These are the ‘red dots’ we want to change and can change.”

Adams said it is easy to become overwhelmed, frustrated and helpless when thinking of issues such as sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.

“While these emotions are understandable, the truth is that we all have power,” she said. “When we think of the issue as simply a global problem, we overlook that we have an individual responsibility and opportunity to reduce violence in our community. … Green Dot is a form of social responsibility, a core component of our [College’s] mission and captures what it means to be an empowered woman.”

Students should feel empowered by this week’s events and find new ways to make an impact, she said.

“It’s not about everyone doing the same thing but finding the right action for each person. ‘No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something,’” she said, quoting a Green Dot mantra.

“When everyone asks [themselves], ‘What is my Green Dot?’ and discovers the difference they can make, then we will see a dramatic reduction in violence. I have no doubt.”

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About Alex Winegar

A junior at Saint Mary's, Alex is a Communicative Sciences and Disorders major. She serves as the Saint Mary's co-associate news editor. Alex enjoys traveling, food and spending time in "The Mitten."

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