TUCSON, Ariz. — In May members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing located at the Tucson International Airport will take the first step of a five-year strategy to decrease interpersonal violence across the Air Force when the Green Dot violence-prevention initiative gains momentum.
The Air Force contracted with the non-profit organization, Green Dot etc. to provide violence prevention tools to the total Air Force through 2018.
Four members of the 162nd joined 1,500 other Air Force personnel trained by Green Dot staff to teach this new strategy. Classes have been held for wing leadership and those set to deploy, but beginning in May the instructors will offer weekly classes.
“Green Dot is a new training approach to help educate our force about preventative measures we all can take to put a stop to power-based personal violence,” said Capt. Melissa Gonzalez officer in charge of the International Military Student Office and Green Dot implementer.
Wing members will be required to participate in one Green Dot session by December 31, 2016. This 50-minute long session will satisfy the annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training requirement.
Master Sgt. Kim Alterman the 162nd Wing Green Dot coordinator, said although Green Dot will fulfill the annual SAPR requirement, this program is not limited to sexual assault. It provides training to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse and bullying.
According to the Green Dot webpage the overarching goal is to mobilize a force of engaged and proactive bystanders.
“The goal of the Green Dot program is to inspire a change in our culture,” said Alterman. “The message we want members to leave with after the training is that we want you to step in and stop any act of interpersonal violence from happening.”
Alterman says the program identifies barriers that might prevent someone from taking action during an instance of violence, but it also gives tools to overcome those barriers.
“Members will learn what it means to direct, delegate and distract in an effort to establish a community free of violence and fear of violence,” said Alterman.
Are you ready to be a Green Dot?
The team is looking for a few Airmen interested in putting a stop to interpersonal violence by spreading the Green Dot message, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.