Reactive Green Dots

Reactive Green Dots are choices and actions we make in response to potentially violent situations. This could include speaking up when you notice a couple arguing, walking a friend home when they’ve had too much to drink, or telling a friend to back off when you know the other person is not interested. Reactive Green Dots come in the form of the 3 Ds: Direct, Distract, and Delegate.


Direct: Confront the situation directly

You can choose to address the potential target, asking that person directly if they feel safe or need help getting away from the concerning individual. You can also address the person who you think is about to commit an act of violence. Before you decide to respond directly, assess the situation: Are you physically safe? Is the person being harassed physically safe? Does it seem unlikely that the situation will escalate? Can you tell if the person being harassed wants someone to speak up? If you can answer yes to all of these questions, you might choose a direct response. Being direct, when safe, is a good way to quickly address the situation and prevent violence from occurring. 
(Hollaback! Bystander Resources)


  • If you witness someone exhibiting stalking behaviors, you can confront that person and say something like, "I'm walking with my friend to class right now. I think we're okay with just one escort."
  • If you’re at a party or bar and see someone who appears to be drunk you could check in with them and ask, "Are you okay?"
  • If you suspect that your friend is in an abusive relationship, you could ask them and provide information about resources available.


Distract: Create a disruption that interrupts the situation

This technique involves causing some form of distraction that will interrupt and diffuse the situation before violence can occur. You can choose to distract the target, the person about to commit violence, or both. As long as the situation is diffused and nobody's safety is at risk, you can get creative with how you choose to distract.


  • You could interrupt a couple arguing by asking for directions.
  • You can spill your  drink on someone at a party or a bar who won't leave another person alone.
  • You can ask for help "finding your phone" to someone that you notice is receiving unwanted attention from someone else.


Delegate: Involve others and get help

If you don’t feel comfortable approaching a potentially violent situation alone, you can involve others. The goal of this approach is to involve another person who may be in a better position to prevent the violence from occurring.


  • If you notice that someone is being harassed on your dorm floor, you can reach out to your RA for assistance. 
  • If you are working on a group project, and one of your group members is constantly berating and belittling someone else in the group, you can ask your professor or TA to intervene.
  • If your friend has disclosed that they have experienced some form of interpersonal violence and you are unsure how you can provide support, you can reach our to a confidential advocate at CARE. 

Proactive Green Dots

A proactive green dot is something you say or do to make is clear to people in your life that:

  1. Violence is not okay with you
  2. Everyone is expected to do their part to make campus safe

Proactive Green Dots are things we can do in our daily lives that make it less likely that violence, or red dots, will ever happen. Enacting Proactive Green Dots can include having a conversation with a friend about your stance against violence, requesting a CARE workshop for your group, or posting a bystander intervention story or video on social media.

  • Have conversations about ending power-based personal violence with your friends
  • Wear a green dots button
  • Write a paper or class assignment on power-based personal violence prevention
  • Look out for friends at parties, bars, online and in other high-risk situations
  • Attend power-based personal violence prevention events
  • Believe that power-based personal violence is unacceptable and say it out loud
  • Work to bring an education program to your class, group, team or organization
  • Volunteer with your local service providers that are dedicated to working against forces that contribute to power-based violence
  • Check in with friends if you are concerned about their safety and connect them to help
  • Put green dot information on your social media pages and your email signature line
  • Schedule a Gaucho Green Dot presentation from CARE for your class as well as your department 
  • Include a statement on your course syllabus that expresses support for survivors of violence and intolerance of all forms of violence. You could include information for campus resources, such as the CARE office and Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
  • Where appropriate, bring educational programming on power-based person violence to your classes.
  • Become familiar with campus and community resources for violence prevention and response.
  • Assign readings or papers or journal topics on the issue of power-based personal violence.

Gaucho Green Dot Bystander Intervention Workshop

The Gaucho Green Dot Bystander Intervention workshop is a 3-4 hour interactive training session* that will teach you how to recognize situations of abuse or violence. This training will address what stops us from helping and provide tools to overcome these barriers in a variety of scenarios. The main goal of this training is to equip you will the skills and tools you will need to intervene as an active bystander in situation of harm and violence. 

*During remote instruction, this training is offered virtually via Zoom and will be 1-2 hours

Schedule a Presentation