Kennesaw State University receives Avon Foundation Grant to help prevent violence

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Grant will help bring unique anti-violence training program to campus

Kennesaw, Ga. (May 2, 2013) — Kennesaw State University has received a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women that help bring an innovative peer leader education program to campus.

The $5,000 grant will pay for travel and training expenses to the Green Dot Institute in Springfield, Va. for a staff member from the University’s Women's Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center (WRIVPC). The Green Dot program is a form of bystander empowerment developed bycounselor and educator Dorothy J. Edwards to train peer leaders in techniques that can prevent violence.

The Avon Foundation for Women manages the grant through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. Mark, a fashion and beauty boutique, awarded the grant from its m.powerment by mark Healthy Relationship Peer Educator Program.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women and m.powerment by mark share our mission,” said Emily Ramirez, the director of the WRIVPC.

“The grant will enable our program to expand to a peer educator program using the Green Dot. This will allow us to reach many more students,” Ramirez said.“The Green Dot program goes beyond the annual events, the poster campaigns, the myths-and-facts format. Instead, it uses popular opinion leaders such as athletes, sororities and fraternities to influence behavior. It gives people tools they are comfortable with.”

The Green Dot program has trained staff at more than 400 colleges and universities in the U.S., as well as Guam, Canada, Italy, Japan and Portugal. After receiving the training, the WRIVPC staff member will provide the training to selected peer leaders.

“The goal is for these leaders to engage with their peers during their daily activities,” Ramirez said. “It seeks to transform behavior from passive agreement that violence is wrong to active intervention if and when a situation arises. If someone is in a dangerous situation and there is a group of people around, they can do something that can prevent the situation from happening.”

Popular opinion leaders can influence the people around them “through modeling, endorsing and engaging in the targeted behaviors,” Ramirez said.

The Green Dot name draws on the premise that if a red dot on a map equals violence, danger or a threat, a green dot, instead, means freedom from violence and the fear of violence.

The Avon Foundation launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2012, the foundation has donated $33 million in the United States to support domestic violence programs, services and education.

To date, the m.powerment by mark Healthy Dating Relationship College Program has awarded $125,000 in grants to colleges nationwide to fund programs focused on preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, stalking and the promotion of healthy relationships. The grant also supports educator training, materials and support sessions about healthy relationships.

 

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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.