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ON A PERSONAL NOTE:
I believe that my triplets are the cutest ever born; that pop-tarts are second only to mashed potatoes in the awesome foods hierarchy; that loving Star Trek and Glee does not necessarily make me a nerd; that I can leave a legacy that matters; that my 18 year old daughter really knows how to do her chores, but just pretends not to; that my 18 year old daughter will leave a legacy bigger than mine; that passion and connection and basic human kindness are the key elements to living a vibrant life; that I need to get over my addiction to caffeine.
I do this work because I believe with everything in me that current rates of power-based personal violence are not inevitable. I do this work because if I didn’t believe this could change – I would be accepting some truths about humanity that I am just not willing to accept.
I am not willing to let this world dull my senses to this issue. I am not willing to be swallowed by the apathy around me. I am not willing to pretend it is not horrifying that thousands of women, children and men will be victims of sexual violence, partner violence, stalking and abuse every single day. I am defiant against a culture that tries to lull my soul into quiet complacency as our daughters and our sons – our partners and our sisters and our brothers – face violence and the threat of violence every single day.
For whatever reasons – I have chosen to define my own humanity by my connection to this issue. If my soul is not broken – if I am not horrified daily by yet another story – if 1 in 3 women being brutalized on my campus, in my country, in my frickin’ world does not keep me awake at night and shock my sensibilities…what will? What else is there? I am here because the day I am not here – is the day this insanity has beaten me. Even as a victim myself – even as my soul bleeds for my beautiful daughter - I am here in defiant resistance to the premise that these staggering rates of violence are inevitable.
I don’t know all the answers. I have no ulterior motives. Green Dot etc. is my best guess thus far. I am trying each day to do this work with integrity and with humility. I fall short daily. But I will get back up every single time and come back at this. I may be an imperfect vessel for this movement – but I am a persistent one - and I will keep trying until something works.
Dr. Dorothy J. Edwards, author of the Green Dot etc. Violence Prevention Strategy, holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman’s University. Prior to her current position, serving as the Executive Director of Green Dot, etc., a center dedicated to effective intervention and prevention of power-based personal violence, Dr. Edwards served for five years as the founding Director of the University of Kentucky Violence Intervention and Prevention Center. She has worked in both counseling and teaching capacities in higher education at Appalachian State University and Texas Women’s University as well as founding the Community Education Program at Denton County Friends of the Family, addressing sexual assault and relationship violence. With a specialty in primary prevention, she provides training and consultation in the areas of power-based personal violence, organizational capacity building, program implementation, strategic planning and community mobilization. Dr. Edwards is currently working with government entities, state coalitions, military, non-profits, community organizations, high schools and colleges from around the globe.
At Green Dot, etcetera, our work goes beyond the Green Dot program itself. As leaders in violence prevention, we provide training, technical assistance, and program development for individuals, schools, and organizations both domestically and internationally as they work to foster safe communities. We are proud to be a technical assistance provider for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women Campus Program. To learn more about that initiative, please visit our OVW Technical Assistance section.
We are collaborating with Hollaback to support their amazing efforts to address street harassment. To learn more about Street Harassment and how you can do your part to reduce it, check out ihollaback.org.