Search
  • SAFE Bar Network

Nightlife Should be Fun, Not Frightening.

The SAFE Bar Network is thrilled to be part of the food and beverage industry. When CulEpi, an industry publication, asked us to share about our work we jumped at the chance. Here is a portion of the article published on CulEpi’s site and written by our very own Haleigh Harrold.


In my work at the SAFE Bar Network, I often tell a story I heard during one of the first SAFE Bar Network training conversations that we facilitated. It goes something like this.

safe bar network, safe bars, bystander, active bystander, bystander intervention, sexual assault, sexual harassment

A busy college bar was closing for the night and people were milling around outside, catching their rides, or walking home. A member of the security team noticed a man helping a woman into a car. Something about what he was seeing didn’t sit right with him. He felt that emptiness in his gut that urges you to do something.


He turned to the security guy next to him, pointed to the man and woman getting in the car, and asked, “Does that look right to you?” His fellow security team member agreed that something was off about the situation, and they decided to check in with the woman.


They pushed past the man, poked their head into the car, and asked, “Are you okay?”


As they describe it, what came out of the woman’s mouth were not words but incoherent mumbles and grunts. They got the woman out of the car while the man aggressively insisted that she would be okay with him. The security staff helped her inside, got her a glass of water, and looked through her phone to find friends that could come pick her up and get her home safe.


Every time I tell this story during a training conversation my heart beats a little faster, emotion floods into my voice, and I can feel the tension in the room begin to build ever so slightly.


I share that no one can know what would have happened between the woman and the man that night, but that it probably wouldn’t have been something the woman wanted because she had no idea what was happening around her.


safe bar network, safe bar, bartender, bystander, bystander intervention, active bystander, sexual harassment, sexual assault

When I share that story in training conversations someone in the group says, “that was me, I helped that woman.” But that can’t be the case, because this story was told to me years ago and often times in a different city all together. It just goes to show that this scenario is all too common and that in every session we facilitate there’s a participant who has offered help in a very similar situation.


Read the full CulEpi article here.


Looking to get involved? Sign the Pledge to Give a SAFE Night Out and join us in making a commitment to notice concerning behavior, interrupt effectively, and offer support.



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.


There are everyday active bystanders practicing the skills to keep people safe every day. Watch their stories here, Everyday Active Bystanders.

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




16 views0 comments