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2 Signs the Culture is Changing

We just finished a round of SAFE Bar Training in Bloomington, Indiana, Columbia, Missouri and Lincoln, Nebraska. We trained the staff of Kilroy’s Sports, Kilroy’s on Kirkwood, Kirkwood Stacks, Barry’s Bar and Grill, The Fieldhouse, and Willie’s and in every training session I learned something new or something came up that surprised me. This last set of training sessions in Columbia it was something very simple that surprised me.

During our conversations about uncomfortable, awkward and unsafe situations a server spoke up and said;


I know that if I’m uncomfortable or if a customer is bothering me that I can go to any of our door staff and I can say this is what happened and they will take care of it. They will keep an eye on it or let the person know they need to go.


A few minutes later during a discussion of active bystander skills, one of the door staff spoke up and told the group about something he experienced.

A couple of weeks ago one of my coworkers came up to me and said, “this guy is trying to touch me and he is bothering me”. I said, okay and I went and told the customer that he needed to go.


These are really simple bystander intervention skills but what struck me about these comments was just how much believing people and taking action has become part of the culture at The Fieldhouse and Willies along with all of the other bars we’ve trained.


When a customer or a coworker speaks up and says I’m experiencing this problem or I am uncomfortable, they don’t ask questions to try to figure out what the details are. They don’t think that the situation needs to rise to their level of discomfort. They use the active bystander skills that they have learned and they take action. They let the person know I’m watching you, or you need to go, or you can’t do that. That is the culture that we want to create everywhere, all across the country.


If you have a favorite bar, restaurant or night club encourage them to join the SAFE Bar Network. They can learn more at www.safebarnetwork.org.


If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault our partners can help. Visit MOCSA and RAINN.


To learn more about the field of sexual violence response and prevention visit Prevent Connect and NSVRC.

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