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It Works, but Why? An Inside Look at How we are Changing Culture and Increasing Safety.

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

Margaret J. Wheatley


At the SAFE Bar Network, we partner with bars and other alcohol-serving venues to harness the power of their teams, improve active bystander skills, and together create a workplace culture focused on giving everyone a safe night out.

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Our work is based on research* that tells us bystanders are influenced by the behaviors of others. With this in mind, we take a collective approach to bystander intervention and facilitate focused conversations that bring the entire staff together and build connection.

We know that camaraderie and a focus on customer care is an important part of deciding whether or not to use active bystander skills to help someone. This is because people are motivated to help when…

…they are encouraged by others to take action when someone is uncomfortable or unsafe,


…they know that they will be supported and encouraged by others when they take action to help.

The SAFE Bar Network’s programming for bars and other alcohol-serving venues includes six features found to be effective* in improving safety and reducing harm.

1) Using multiple strategies to address the problem behavior. Not only do training conversations focus on active bystander skills they explore changes to the physical space and policies.


2) Gaining a sound understanding of both the problem and of how it can be changed. We explore the unique challenges of individual bars and the strategies that have worked in the past to increase safety.

3) Using educational strategies known to create change. Adults have a unique way of learning, we use this knowledge to create programming that is relevant, engaging, and effective.

4) Developing active bystander skills that are unique to the context. SAFE Bar training conversation participants leave with skills they can use to notice concerning behavior and interrupt to help on their next shift.


5) Modeling how to use active bystander skills so that people are learning how and when to take action. In each training conversation, we dedicate time to talk through scenarios and explore all of the possible solutions.


6) Exploring options and giving local resources for providing support to people who are hurt. We connect SAFE Bar Network members to resources in their local community and help them to strengthen these relationships.


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SAFE Bar Training conversations are simple, manageable, and they work – but you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out these real-life, Everyday Active Bystanders.



To learn more about joining the SAFE Bar Network contact us at safebarnetwork@gmail.com


The SAFE Bar Network is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) you can join the team by donating your time, talent, and money to the mission of giving everyone a SAFE Night Out, just click here.

To learn more about active bystander skills check out our blog post, Obstacles. What obstacles? 3 Full Proof Everyday Active Bystander Skills.


Interested in learning more about bystander intervention? Visit our friends at With Us Center for Bystander Intervention.


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


To learn more about the field of violence response and prevention visit PreventConnect.org and NSVRC.org


* Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/sex-discrimination/publications/encourage-support-act-bystander-approaches-sexual

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