Sexual violence is a major public health issue that has resulted in horrific rates of victimization and perpetration. Studies show that early victimization can result in additional experiences of sexual violence throughout the lifespan, a fact that can ultimately result in lives destroyed by trauma. Finding a preventive path to change those rates of violence is critical, but a void in evidence-based strategies to prevent sexual victimization and perpetration exists. Kentucky has chosen a bystander intervention strategy to implement and evaluate in response to these alarming data.
Green Dot in the High Schools is Kentucky’s attempt to make a change in these rates. Beyond preventing individual victimization, changing the culture that supports sexual violence must occur if the desired outcome is to occur. Kentucky’s 13 regional Rape Crisis Centers are implementing this curriculum in select high schools statewide to both evaluate its effectiveness and to begin the cultural shift necessary to change the community norms around safety, equality and respect.
Additionally, under this new funding opportunity the regional Rape Crisis Centers will begin implementation and evaluation of the middle school curriculum Shifting Boundaries. This program builds foundational knowledge in preparation for participation in the Green Dot High Schools program as well as creates protective environments using heat mapping.
Two additional programs will be implemented and evaluated during this project period also focusing on creating protective environments. A Safe Bars pilot project is currently underway and additional implementation sites will be selected based on outcome evaluation from this pilot. Following in the footsteps of one small Kentucky town who was passionate about creating a whole community where violence is not tolerated, criteria and evaluation processes will be developed for the designation of Green Dot Community and additional communities will be recruited for implementation.