By Karen Wanjico
ewu violence precention advocate
At Voices against Violence we asked students what their obstacles to doing green dots were.
Here are some of the obstacles people identified:
- If someone says they do not want to be protected
- You feel like it’s none of your business
- Feeling like a [sexual killjoy]
- Lack of awareness
- Letting her make her own decision and not butt in on letting her choose for herself
- Other friends would pressure me to drink, even if I decided to be the designated friend who looks out for my girl.
- They wouldn’t take it seriously and make fun
- I have never been in a place where I see this kind of thing.
Obstacles to taking action are a legitimate thing. No one wants a bad reputation. All of us want our friends to respect us. Green dot asks us to take action despite our obstacles. Here are some ideas about overcoming the obstacles mentioned above.
Let’s say you ask and the person says they don’t need help. If they don’t want it, you have done your job. However, if they are too intoxicated to stand on their own, you might do something on their behalf, just like you would take the keys away from a friend who wanted to drive drunk. You know their judgment is off so you do something.
If you are worried your friends won’t be serious when you offer to be a designated watcher, is there a way you can do your green dot without them ever knowing? Maybe you could look out without telling people you’re looking out for them. Maybe you can find one friend who will be on your side and help you. Together you make sure everyone gets home safely.
Maybe you don’t go to high risk locations, but you could do proactive green dots. You could incorporate information about high risk activities into classroom discussions or presentations. That way you do proactive green dots. You still help reset the cultural norm.
If you have obstacles, the advocate would like to hear about them and work with you to overcome them. Call 509-359-6429.