New Study on Green Dot

High School Program Reduces Interpersonal Violence Independent Study Confirms

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SPRINGFIELD, VA, MAY 30, 2017 – A five-year, independent study confirms the effectiveness of the Green Dot Strategy for High Schools with significant reductions in rates of interpersonal violence. The study examined frequency of self-reported sexual violence perpetration and victimization. “Because different types of violence frequently co-occur,” notes the study, “intervention effects on sexual harassment, stalking, and dating violence were also measured for both victimization and perpetration.”

“Results from this 5-year RCT indicate that this bystander program to reduce violence, adapted for high school students, was associated with 120 fewer sexually violent events in Y3 and 88 in Y4 when the intervention was fully implemented,” concludes the study’s authors. “From secondary analyses, the intervention was effective in reducing the student-level violence perpetration rates by 17%-21% (p<0.01) in Y3 and Y4.” The study, led by Dr. Ann L. Coker at the University of Kentucky and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in the March edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The study evaluated the Green Dot strategy in 26 high schools in Kentucky over 5 years and included 89,707 student surveys. In the study, 13 schools implemented the Green Dot strategy while 13 schools, as a control group, did not. The study compared rates of violence over the five-year period both within the 13 implementing schools and between the implementing and control groups.

“At the end of the study, we see numbers like 300 experiences of violence dropping to 157,” says Dr. Dorothy J. Edwards, founder and president of Alteristic, Inc., and author of the high school curriculum. “Not only did they see reductions in sexual assault, these reductions applied to both perpetration and victimization, and they saw similar results for sexual harassment, dating violence, and stalking.” For Edwards, the true impact is beyond statistics: “When you look at those numbers, you see that 143 students—girls and boys—did not get assaulted; that somebody’s child or sibling or best friend who will never go through this experience. That’s the ultimate human benefit. That’s the importance of this study and what it means to us.”

The Green Dot strategy is designed around culture change: creating norms where interpersonal violence is not acceptable and everyone is expected to do their part to keep each other safe. Edwards continues, “If you look at the first couple years of the study, where the schools were just working toward saturation, that’s not where you see the dramatic changes. It’s in years 3 and 4, when you can arguably say enough people have been trained and are using their Green Dot instruction that we’re seeing a culture shift—that’s where you see the numbers start to change—and you see these changes sustained over multiple years.”

Edwards originally created the Green Dot curriculum for use on college campuses while she was work at the University of Kentucky. She founded Green Dot, etc., Inc., in 2010 (now Alteristic, Inc.), and has subsequently adapted the curriculum for high school and middle school use and community settings. The strategy is currently being adapted for K-3. The Green Dot strategy has been applied statewide in states from Alaska to Florida, and its prevention principles are shaping prevention in the Department of Justice Office on Violence against Women Campus program, at the Department of Defense, and throughout the United States Air Force.

About the High School Strategy

The Green Dot High School Strategy is based on the premise that the students, teachers, staff, parents, and administrators of any given school do not want students to experience interpersonal violence. The program harnesses that and equips all members of the school community to:

1. Recognize high-risk situations

2. Understand what might keep them from getting involved

3. Identify realistic actions they would take in a situation

4. Do proactive behaviors to set norms in a school to make it less likely that this violence will happen

The high school program is based on training the student population as well as teachers and administrators to understand those four steps and to feel motivated and equipped to implement them.

Read more about the study here.


Watch a video about the study above.

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