BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Due to sexual assault issues, the Air Force has decided to implement Green Dot as a prevention. Green Dot training is scheduled to replace the annual Sexual Assault Prevention and Response training beginning this year on Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
"We have a problem with sexual assault, sexual harassment, and personal relationship violence such as dating violence; to include things like stalking," said Master Sgt. Richard Martinez, 460th Operations Group Det. 2 superintendant and Green Dot facilitator. "These are all issues that make people within our Air Force very uncomfortable and make it difficult for morale. These are cancers to our Air Force, and Green Dot is meant to be the cure."
Green Dot is a civilian organization created to reduce violence throughout communities.
"Green Dot is a five-year strategy plan for the Air Force to reduce both personal relationship issues and interpersonal violence on bases," said Sandy Whitaker, Violence Primary Prevention specialist. "It's for all possible violence, really. Including bullying."
Green Dot has been successful in reducing the amount of violence in various locations.
"Green Dot has been used at different universities, high schools, and even small communities," said Martinez. "They've been able to show that through awareness and education, they have been able to reduce violence. SAPR did a great job of bringing awareness to sexual assault and sexual violence to our bases. It highlighted these things that are happening and made people comfortable to report."
Although the SAPR training has shown progress with the number of incidents being reported, Green Dot offers a stronger overall balance of prevention.
"Green Dot on the other hand, is a more proactive approach amongst the members where we give them multiple options of how to respond to these situations," said Martinez. "Green Dot doesn't label people as being a bystander, a victim or a predator. Instead, we label actions. We want people to know it's not bad people, but bad actions and decisions."
Green Dot is designed to educate individuals that everyone can help prevent violence.
"Someone who sees something, now has an opportunity to intervene in a way where they can actually say something," said Martinez. "We don't say you have to do this; what we do is give you different ways to use your personality and your comfort level to be able to take a very volatile situation and get it to calm down. It's about what you're comfortable with and how we can come up with solutions or ways you can intervene."
The mandatory course each base member is required to take will soon be available for registration.
The goal is to get about 12-15% of the base population registered for the Green Dot Bystander (Early Adopter) training in either July and August, stated Whitaker. This course will be roughly four hours and is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to recognize the behaviors that may constitute dating and domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking or any other behaviors that may be precursors to these types of violence.
Whitaker also added the majority of the base population will be scheduled to start their course at the beginning of September. This course, the Green Dot Overview training, will be a one-hour training and will be an introduction to the basic elements.
With an issue as strong as sexual assault, the Air Force takes prevention training very seriously.
"I just hope that people come in with an open mindset," said Martinez. "I think we're all getting tired of talking about these sexual assault and reoccurring alcohol type briefings, but I also hope they don't tune it out. We're talking about it because it still happens. We'll stop talking about these when they stop happening."