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Vandenberg set to adopt new violence prevention strategy

In an effort to curb interpersonal violence, the Air Force is adopting a new and comprehensive strategy developed through an organization known as Green Dot. The Green Dot strategy aims to reduce all “power-based” personal violence – to include sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, dating violence, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse and bullying. (Courtesy graphic)

In an effort to curb interpersonal violence, the Air Force is adopting a new and comprehensive strategy developed through an organization known as Green Dot. The Green Dot strategy aims to reduce all “power-based” personal violence – to include sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, dating violence, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse and bullying. (Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- In an effort to curb interpersonal violence, the Air Force is adopting a new and comprehensive strategy developed through an organization known as Green Dot.

The Green Dot strategy aims to reduce all "power-based" personal violence - to include sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, child abuse, elder abuse and bullying.

"The Green Dot Strategy is a way to initiate culture change to prevent interpersonal violence from occurring within a community," said Tech. Sgt. Brittany Spoutz, 30th Force Support Squadron family readiness NCO and Vandenberg Green Dot implementer. "I think it's a good idea for the Air Force, and all communities, to utilize this program because it consists of a completely new approach to combating and preventing interpersonal violence. Green Dot created specific materials and training plans that are unique to the Air Force so that the concepts are relatable and comfortable for Airmen to use and understand."

So far Vandenberg has five trained individuals, who are tasked with introducing the entire base to the new program through a gradual three-phase process.

"Our five implementers just returned from Travis Air Force Base for their Green Dot certification," said Tech. Sgt. Megan Dunlevy, 532nd Training Squadron instructor supervisor and Vandenberg Green Dot implementer. "We are currently practicing to perfect the delivery and will be ready to roll out the first phase of the training by the end of April. The first phase is leadership. Since leadership has the largest impact on the culture of their units, they will be trained first. Once the leadership is trained we will then train approximately 15 to 20 percent of our base population on the bystander portion. This 15 to 20 percent are those early adopters in the squadron who have been selected by their commander for having an impact on the unit -- those individuals who newcomers will tend to gravitate toward and be influenced by. The third phase will then roll out, which will be the entire base population, however, the program mandates that we cannot have more than 50 participants in this session, and the only people authorized to present the information are the five implementers. It is going to take some time, however the Green Dot company has a very strict implementation policy that we must uphold, the Air Force has given a deadline of Dec. 31, however we will be done long before then. Once VAFB has a 100 percent completion rate, which will be tracked in ADLS, there will be action events scheduled throughout the year."

Those involved are excited to implement this program and believe it will have a significantly positive impact on the entire community.

"I'm honored to be part of the Green Dot team on Vandenberg, and I'm excited to share this new strategy with everyone," said Spoutz. "I very much believe in this and I know that when we all come together with a common goal to eliminate interpersonal violence, our base, community and families will be in a much safer world."

Although the strategy is a new addition to the Air Force's current arsenal of measures combating assault, it will serve to complement existing programs and procedures - not replace them. 

"This strategy is not taking the place of our current Sexual Assault and Prevention programs, or what the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator offers, but rather arms our Airmen with more tools for their toolbox to help combat power-based interpersonal violence," said Dunlevy. "Before, programs and training focused on victims vs. perpetrators. This is a completely different approach. Also, it has outstanding numbers over a five year study, conducted by the Center for Disease Control. A high school campus which was studied by the CDC, saw a 50 percent decrease in sexual assault and domestic violence over a five year period. Although the program was not specifically designed to stop acts such as suicides and DUIs, college campuses that implemented Green Dot also reported a decrease in these issues, mainly because of the new approach."

Considering the significant statistics behind the program, implementers are confident in the strategy's capacity to produce tangible results, ensuring the Air Force's ability to protect its most valuable resource - Airmen.

"I think this will really benefit members of Team V because we will all see how easy and fun it is to make our culture safe for us and our children," said Spoutz. "We will all be given the skills necessary to stop and prevent harmful acts of interpersonal violence from being committed on each other."

For more information, visit www.livethegreendot.com.