Being a Good Neighbor: Proactive Green Dots during a Pandemic

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The Green Dot violence prevention program is a CDC-funded and evidence-based program that teaches individuals how to be active bystanders and intervene when they see incidents of power-based personal violence – including child abuse, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual assault, and bullying. Each instance of proactive bystander intervention is referred to as a “green dot,” replacing other potentially violent interactions. For more information about this program and how it positively impacts individuals and communities, visit this study. In addition to intervening during an incident, Green Dot also encourages individuals to create and uphold positive social norms that do not tolerate violence of any kind and set the expectation for everyone in a community to do their part in keeping everyone else safe. Each person’s decisions and actions affect the safety of the people around them.

Do these expectations remind you of anything?

In his briefing on March 25th, Governor Andy Beshear calmly explained, “Our time is right now. The next couple of weeks are going to be some of the most critical that we face. Our decisions to do the right things right now will protect the people around us.”

Each evening at 5pm, Governor Andy Beshear has been imploring the citizens of Kentucky to “Be a good neighbor” and take care of each other during this global pandemic. His nightly briefings focus on highlighting citizens, businesses, and agencies who are modeling appropriate social distancing, encouraging creative self-care practices, and taking care of essential workers. While communicating accurate information and promoting practices that protect Kentucky’s most vulnerable populations, he also holds businesses and individuals who are not doing their duty accountable for the harm they are causing. Governor Beshear is communicating, very clearly, that he believes the virus is a lethal threat and is expecting each Kentuckian to do their part in preventing its spread.

Social distancing, buying only what you need from the grocery store, washing your hands well and often, and using the hashtags #TeamKentucky and #TogetherKY to show how we are coping during these trying times are all proactive green dots each of us can do to promote health and wellbeing for all Kentuckians.

On March 30th he said, “The reality is, the only way that we’re going to get people doing the right thing is because they agree to — is because they see it as their duty, and they know that their actions can harm other people.”

The small choices we make every day add up. If each citizen in Kentucky makes the choice to do one small thing to curb the spread of coronavirus, then all Kentuckians will be just a little bit safer, healthier, and better off than they were yesterday.

No one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something.