Kyle Darbonne

Point of View: What’s your Green Dot?

Interpersonal violence might be a new term for you.

Have you been wondering how to make a difference in our world today? With everything else going on, do I even have the energy to help? I’m here to share how Green Dot can make a difference in a real and tangible way.

Before we talk about the solution that Green Dot brings, let’s talk about the problem. Interpersonal violence might be a new term for you, but it just means all types of power-based violence like domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault, to name a few. You may have heard the alarming statistics here in Alaska that illustrate how historical trauma can lead to present-day violence — statistics like, “Six out of 10 Alaskan women have experienced violence like this in their lives” (Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Alaska Victimization Survey 2010-2015). In this divided world, I hope we can all agree on this: Alaskans can do better to stand up and protect each other.

I get it: We hear statistics like these and can feel like our actions are not going to change anything. The great news is that you absolutely can help reduce interpersonal violence and you already know how. You don’t even have to go out of your way to change jobs, donate money or even volunteer your time.

A green dot is when you witness something happening that sparks a gut reaction that something isn’t right, and you make the choice to do something. The best part is the “something” you do can be anything you’re comfortable with. Green Dots are the small choices to break up an awkward situation or prevent a situation from getting worse. Maybe you are fine with stepping up and directly saying something if you saw someone in line at Safeway yelling at their cashier. Nice Green Dot, reader. You could also let management know that it seems like the situation is out of hand and they might want to check in on their cashier. Boom, that’s a Green Dot. Maybe you’d “accidentally” trip and fall right in front of them and ask for some help up in order to break the tension. Look at you Green Dotting all over the place. I’m already proud of you.

The point is, if everyone steps up to do something in the moment, we can make Homer a safer place to live. All it takes is everyone looking out for each other — even your perceived opponent on Homer Communication. Everyone.

I hope you’re talking at your paper/screen saying, “OK, Kyle, but how can I get involved?” I’m so glad you asked. April is awareness month for both child abuse and sexual assault, so our prevention team thought it would be the perfect time to do a community-wide Green Dot Relaunch. There are events every Wednesday evening where you can come to learn more about this nationwide movement. You can even attend a full training on April 28 at Land’s End with free food. If you would like to attend, please reach out via my contact info below.

With so much going on that is out of our control, it feels great to do something small that makes Homer a safe and resilient community. So, what’s your Green Dot?

Kyle Darbonne is the prevention coordinator at South Peninsula Haven House. He also works with the school district as a migrant education specialist and is an active member of the Resilience Coalition. Please reach out to him at

MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) is a local health improvement coalition with the vision of a proactive, resilient and innovative community.

More in Opinion

Opinion: Why is CON Still in Alaska?

CON laws are little more than expensive and time-consuming barriers to care.

McKibben Jackinsky. (Photo courtesy of McKibben Jackinsky)
Point of View: Caregivers Support Group shows others willing to help

Caregiving is a 24-hour job and can be overwhelming at times.

George Bennett pictured shortly after arriving in Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Bennett served in the 2/12th Infantry 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and was assigned to Dau Tieng Base Camp. (Photo courtesy George Bennett, Sr.)
Opinion: It’s time to correct a Vietnam-era injustice

Let’s give our Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans the land they’re owed and honor their legacy of service before it’s too late.

Alex Koplin is a founding member of Kenai Peninsula Votes. (courtesy photo)
Voices of the Peninsula: What’s in a number?

The more we promote the importance of voting, the more we improve our civic health.

Former Alaska representative Les Gara, left, and Amanda Metivier, associate director of the Child Welfare Academy. (courtesy)
Fostering more important than ever

We have fewer foster homes today than we did before COVID.

Reports show value of UA workforce development programs

The economic value of training and education is abundantly clear

The MV Matanuska awaits repairs at the Auke Bay Ferry Terminal on Thursday as lawmakers at the state Capitol debated whether the Alaska Marine Highway System was actually a highway. A bill that would shape long-term planning for the system passed out of committee. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Opinion: The feigning champions of the ferry system

Token improvements aren’t anything to brag about.

Opinion: 3 questions about ending America’s ‘Forever War’

Every American should ask themselves three questions

Most Read