I’ve been pondering my Utopian world. Most of my requests are petty: more Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt stores, a private jet, a 24-hour yoga studio and an on-call masseuse. I don’t think that this was what CALCASA had in mind when it picked the theme “building the world we want to live in” for its National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC).
Let me try again. (I’m not that shallow, but I’d humbly take those luxuries if offered.) I want to live in a world where the following iPhone applications don’t exist: I’m Being Assaulted, xOffender and, my favorite, Are You Safe? According to the “Safe-o-Meter” on the Are you Safe application, I’m not safe right now. I’m at risk of motor vehicle theft, robbery, property crime, sexual offense, theft, burglary, assault and murder. I understand that this application has major flaws, but my point is that I want to live in a world where it’s not even necessary to create this application.
How I do I build that world? Dr. Dorothy Edwards addresses some of these building steps with her Green Dot model. She’ll be at NSAC talking about a comprehensive approach to violence prevention. Green Dot is a violence prevention initiative that promotes “any behavior, choice, word or attitude that counters or displaces a red-dot of violence — by promoting safety for everyone and communicating utter intolerance for sexual violence, interpersonal violence, stalking and child abuse.”
Dr. Edwards says that the building steps start with these tasks:
- Identifying the obstacles that keep people from engaging in prevention and intervention; and
- Minimizing, eliminating or overcoming these obstacles.
After watching some of Dr. Edwards Green Dot Training in Las Vegas, one truth that struck me was that even honest, upstanding, “good” people sometimes don’t intervene when observing a potentially harmful situation. She offers viable solutions and new directions in violence prevention efforts — and with an amazing level of passion and conviction. Her presentations are more than educational. She’s one of the only speakers I’ve ever listened to for more than an hour and still felt completely engaged and entertained.
I’ll be sure to attend Dr. Edwards workshop at NSAC — learning more about how to build the world I want to live in.