FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Employees of the Kentucky Attorney General’s office will take part in a training and policy initiative to help prevent violence in their communities.
The Green Dot program is active in 42 states, five countries and the United States Air Force, and focuses on preventing power-based personal violence. That includes sexual violence, partner violence, child abuse, elder abuse, bullying and stalking.
In Kentucky, Maysville and Mason County were among the national leaders in becoming Green Dot communities
Christy Burch, executive director of the Women’s Crisis Center in Northern Kentucky, explained how the program got its name.
“Imagine a map of Kentucky with red dots,” she said. “Those represent a moment in time where somebody makes a choice to harm another person. If we want to do something about that, we have to put green dots on our map. A green dot is a choice somebody made to try and keep a red dot from happening in the first place.”
The program includes teaching bystanders how they can become proactive by intervening in an attack, without endangering themselves, to keep another red dot off the map.
“Today we take another step forward in our mission to change the culture of violence in our communities and create a culture of respect,” said Attorney General Andy Beshear. “This training will empower the entire Office of the Attorney General to be active bystanders – to prevent violence in our workplace, in our relationships and in our communities.”
Beshear said polls show 54 percent of American women have experienced unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances at some point. “Over the past year, sexual assaults and violence have been in the spotlight, and it’s way past time for serious and significant change.”
Mason County Judge Executive Joe Pfeffer said his community has been active in changing the culture for some time.
“Three years ago, the Limestone Ministerial Association and the Women’s Crisis Center embarked on a unique partnership to bring the Green Dot violence strategy to churches across Maysville and Mason County.”
He says that first effort reached more than 2,000 people. “That success and momentum propelled the community to take it a step further, working together to make Maysville the first Green Dot City in the nation.”
Beshear says Maysville empowered his office to join the program, which should cost very little, and can easily be absorbed within their budget.
Pikeville and Covington are also working on becoming Green Dot communities, according to Beshear.