News, Events, & Programs

Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program

GreenWhat's your green dot? Dot is a bystander intervention training program that promotes intolerance of violence through communal education and empowerment. Although the program does not specifically say what to do, it suggests that something be done when facing a potentially harmful situation. These harmful situations are known as “red dots” and include instances of interpersonal violence, such as physical and sexual assault, intimidating words, and controlling behaviors. In response, “green dots” can be used to combat these types of situations. A “green dot” is any act, behavior, or choice that communicates, and prioritizes, safety and intolerance of violence. Unsure of how to use green dots in your day-to-day life? See below for the “5 Ds” of reactive green dots for more information. Additionally, please contact the Title IX Office with any questions, concerns, or interest in training opportunities! 

The 5 D’s 

Direct: intervening by inserting yourself into a situation and directly addressing those involved (e.g., asking someone who looks uncomfortable if they are okay, pulling your friend away from someone who appears to be intimidating them, and/or telling someone that their joke is offensive). 

Delegate: asking someone else, who may be better equipped to handle the situation, to intervene (e.g., asking a mutual friend, telling the party host, and/or calling Public Safety). 

Distract: indirect intervention tactic accomplished by creating a diversion (e.g., telling your friend that someone needs them in another room, spilling a drink on someone exhibiting harmful behavior, and/or going up to a stranger you think may be in trouble, pretending like it is first time you have seen them in a long time, and then continuing to have that conversation to separate them from the harm). 

Delay: supportive and validating actions taken in the aftermath of a harmful situation (e.g., checking in, offering help, and/or sharing resources).

Document: if intervention efforts are already in effect, or are not possible, record the details of the incident such as the date, time, and location (e.g., take a photo, record a video, and/or write down any information you deem important). Please note that documenting should only be considered when another "D" is in effect and if it is safe to do so. For example, if someone present is already intervening directly or has been delegated to assist, documenting is appropriate. Make sure to talk with the harmed individual to determine their preferred next steps with the documentation captured. Unless requested by authorities, avoid sharing and/or posting documentation without the harmed individual's consent.

As part of the RWU community, we are all bystanders who can play a role in reducing violence and keeping our campus safe. What will your green dot be? 

Social Media

Instagram:  @rwu_greendot

Facebook: Green Dot World - RWU

Programs Directed at New Students:

  • "Hawks" On-Line Training Model (via Vector Solutions)
  • "Let's Talk About Sex: This Matters at RWU

Programs and Initiatives Directed at Campus Community:

  • Green Dot Bystander Intervention Workshops
  • Student Senate Campus Safety Walk
  • Silent Witness Day of Remembrance Vigil
  • STAND performance art exhibit
  • Clothesline Project display
  • Empty Seat at the Table
  • RI Sexual Assault Denim Day
  • Film & Discussion
  • HAWE "Healthy Relationship" events
  • Community Conversations
  • RWU School of Law events
  • Title IX campus climate study
  • University participant in NASPA "Culture of Respect" program
  • Collaborative events with Rhode Island Colleges and Universities

Specialized Student Leader Training:

  • Resident Assistants (Title IX, Bystander Intervention, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence)
  • Health & Wellness Educators  (Title IX, Bystander Intervention, Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence)
  • Orientation Advisors (Title IX, Bystander Intervention)
  • Peer Mentors  (Title IX, Bystander Intervention)
  • Admissions Ambassadors (Title IX, Bystander Intervention)
  • Athletes (Title IX, Bystander Intervention)
  • Student Senate (Title IX overview)

In March of 2002, the RWU Women’s Center created a chapter of the Rhode Island Silent Witness Initiative (SWI), honoring the lives of people murdered in acts of domestic violence. In May of 2011, the RWU Women’s Center helped a local high school create the first high school chapter of the project in the country.

Now, under the direction of the Title IX Office, the RWU chapter of SWI continues to raise awareness, honor local community members and seek to end power-based personal violence.

If you would like to get involved with the RWU Silent Witness Initiative, please contact Jen Stanley at or at (401) 254-3123.

The Escalation Workshop is a film-based discussion that opens people’s eyes to the warning signs of relationship abuse. The workshop consists of a film, Escalation, followed by a guided discussion led by a trained facilitator.

If you would like more information regarding Escalation or how to become a trained peer facilitator, please contact Jen Stanley at or 401-254-3123.