PROGRAM IN MARCH TO HELP TAMAQUA RESIDENTS PREVENT CRIME

Residents of Tamaqua are asked to participate in a community learning program designed to help residents work together to prevent crime and lessen violence in the community. The program, called The Green Dot Program, includes a free training program that would focus on establishing a bystander intervention program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. At a recent meeting in Tamaqua, Stephanie Barron, vice president of SARCC, shared details on plans to host the extensive training that will be held 9 AM to 5 PM from March 17 to 20, 2014 at the Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Tamaqua Morgan Center. For more information, or to get involved, contact Leona Rega, Director, Tamaqua Safety Initiative, at (570) 668-1192 or by emailing leona@tacp.info. Residents can also call Stephanie Barron, Vice President (SARCC Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center of Schuylkill and Lebanon counties) at (570) 628-2965.

ABOUT THE GREEN DOT PROGRAM:

 Visualize for a moment that unforgettable image of small red dots spreading across a computer generated map of the US‚ symbolizing the spread of some terrible epidemic, with each tiny red dot representing an individual case. With disturbing speed‚ the three or four single dots multiply and spread until the whole map emits a red glow comprised of a zillion tiny dots.

Now imagine for a moment a map of our communities.
Each red dot on this map represents an act of power-based personal violence (partner violence‚ sexual violence, stalking, bullying, or child abuse) – or a choice to tolerate‚ justify or perpetuate this violence. A red dot is when someone has sex without consent; a hit, punch or shove; threatening; cruel teasing; or spreading lies or unwanted pictures on Facebook. A red dot is also when someone makes the choice to do nothing when they see any of these things happening. Power-based personal violence is not a huge‚ solid mass that can simply be removed with one swift action or policy. Rather, it is the accumulation of individual decisions and actions made by the men and women from every corner of our community. It’s hard to know exactly how many red dots are on our map at any given moment – but we do know there have been enough red dots to create a culture that sustains far too many women, children and men experiencing violence.

Now imagine adding a green dot in the middle of all those red dots on our map.
Imagine that a green dot is any behavior or choice that promotes safety for all of us and communicates utter intolerance for any form of violence. A green dot is pulling a friend out of a high risk situation – a green dot is posting a status update on Facebook about bystander intervention – a green dot is donating a few dollars to your local center – a green dot is displaying an awareness poster in your office – a green dot is wearing your green dot gear – a green dot is getting someone else to step in even if you can’t – a green dot is striking up a conversation with a friend about how much this issue matters to you. A green dot is simply your individual choice at any given moment to make our community safer.

How many green dots will it take to begin outnumbering the red dots and reducing power-based personal violence in our community?
How many of us will have to do 2 or 3 or 10 green dots to make a difference and begin to outnumber and displace the red dots? Even though we can’t know the exact number, we do know this. There are far more individuals in any given community who don’t commit violence than who do. If just some of us were willing to step up – even in small ways – very quickly, green dots could take over the map – and less of our friends and family would be hurt. Think about it. Will you do your green dot?

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Here is a  link to the program’s website:
http://www.livethegreendot.com/

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Here is a link to a related Republican Herald story:
http://republicanherald.com/news/program-to-help-tamaqua-residents-prevent-crime-reduce-violence-1.1611811.

Here is a link to a related Times News story:
http://www.tnonline.com/2013/dec/27/combating-rising-crime.

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