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  • Writer's pictureSAFE Bar Network

3 Active Bystander Steps you can Take to Stop Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

The SAFE Bar Network is dedicated to training bar, restaurant, and nightclub staff to learn,

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use, and master active bystander skills. You don’t have to work in an alcohol-serving establishment to notice, take action, and support to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault. Here are three steps that you can practice every day.

1. Notice When Things Aren’t Right. You don’t have to be an expert on the dynamics of sexual harassment and sexual assault to notice when something isn’t right. Trust your gut. If you notice that someone is uncomfortable, confused, or unsafe take action.

2. Take Action. For far to long we’ve talked about preventing sexual harassment and sexual assault as if there is only one solution – to put on a cape, be the hero, and confront the person causing the problem. Yes, that works. But there are so many other options that work just as well and may be better for the situation

· Do Something Yourself. Talk to the person causing the problem, check in with the person being hurt.

· Get Others to Help. Get your outgoing friend to say something, check in with the people around you and make it a team effort.

· Talk About Something Else. Create a cleaver distraction by asking for directions, say you need help finding the ATM, this is your chance to be creative.

3. Give Support. Get Support. There are going to be times when you take action and it feels really good. But there are also going to be times when you take action and it’s a bit more complicated. Maybe it doesn’t feel good. Maybe you’re not sure how to feel. Tell someone you trust what happened, call a hotline, email the Safe Bar Network. When the time comes, be ready to pay-it-forward by offering support to someone else.

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

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

*Adapted from the Green DOT, Alteristic

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