Nov. 26—The Daviess County Public Library has received its Green Dot Spot designation, becoming the first public library in the area to participate in the program that aims to prevent power-based personal violence.
Jarrod McCarty, DCPL community engagement manager, said about 60% of library employees have become certified in the program to date.
"Last week we did two virtual trainings with our staff," McCarty said. "It really makes them more confident when they are at the desk to be able to recognize certain situations."
McCarty said the library was approached by Ronda Howard, New Beginnings Sexual Assault Support Services prevention coordinator, earlier in the year about becoming a Green Dot Spot.
"I met with Ronda, and she went over the concept of the program, and I felt like it was a very rewarding thing for our staff to participate in and be a part of," he said.
Established at the University of Kentucky in 2006 as a sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking prevention program, the program has spread statewide and has been adapted for schools and community organizations.
"We are still focusing on highs schools, but we are changing our focus to the community, trying to get the idea out about being an active bystander and that the bystander plays a very important role in reducing violence in our community," Howard said.
Howard said having a broader presence in the community and educating individuals about power-based violence is how violence will start to decline.
"It focuses on all types of power-based violence, so it is domestic violence or partner violence, it could be child abuse, sexual violence, harassment...," she said. "It teaches how to see those types of violence as a bystander, how to recognize the violence, and it teaches the skills for how to intervene in a safe way."
Howard said Maysville recently became the first city in the state to become a certified "Green Dot City," something she is working on making a reality for Owensboro.
Part of the requirement to become a Green Dot City includes having a certain number of Green Dot Spots throughout the city.
"It is more about changing social norms, that violence is not okay, and everyone must do their part," Howard said.
Other Green Dot Spots in Owensboro include the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, Owensboro Community & Technical College, Western Kentucky University Owensboro and Chamber Young Professionals.
Any businesses or agencies interested in becoming a Green Dot spot may contact New Beginnings by calling 270-926-7278 or by email at Ronda@ nbOwensboro.org.
Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, email@example.com, 270-228-2837