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GREEN DOT BRINGS CHANGE

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland, Ore., participate in Green Dot training during their drill, June 4, 2016. Green Dot training focuses on intervening to stop interpersonal violence from occurring.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven Conklin, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

Members of the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland, Ore., participate in Green Dot training during their drill, June 4, 2016. Green Dot training focuses on intervening to stop interpersonal violence from occurring. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steven Conklin, 142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- The 142nd Fighter Wing introduced Green Dot training during the regularly scheduled drill, June 4-5, to counteract interpersonal violence here.

The culture within the U.S. Air Force has been changing, and helping to drive that cultural change is Senior Master Sgt. Bobbi Kennedy, Green Dot coordinator for the 142nd Fighter Wing.

"Green Dot is a civilian program that was adopted by the Air Force because it is shown to have a reduction in interpersonal violence," Kennedy said. "Based on CDC [Center for Disease Control] studies, at the high school level there has been a 50 percent reduction in interpersonal violence and at the collegiate level it was up to 23 percent."

As part of her demonstration, Kennedy highlighted red dots that represented potential violence, allowing participants to see the negative situations. She then showed green dots representing service members intervening to stop the violence.

Kennedy said that service members can use their Green Dot training to intervene in one of three different ways; directly addressing the situation, distracting the offender, or delegating another person to intervene.

"The Air Force wants training like this because we have a problem," Kennedy said. "People are still getting assaulted, people are still getting into domestic violence situations, and there are still problems with stalking."

Green dot training replaces the sexual assault prevention and response training, but focuses on a wider range of violence and emphasizes on intervention.

"Go ahead and step in when you need to, and maybe that looks like directly stepping in and asking somebody to stop, or maybe that is having a friend come help you, or maybe it's just calling the police, but don't walk away from that situation," Kennedy said. "Go ahead and make that choice to make a difference because it helps somebody out, and the more we do that, we will start to see those reductions."

While culture changes may not happen overnight, Col. Paul T. Fitzgerald, 142nd Fighter Wing commander praised the training for its effectiveness.

"It's proven. This is something that has been tried and true," he said. "It works."