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  • Writer's pictureSAFE Bar Network

Sex, Alcohol, and Tips for a SAFE Night Out

College is often a place where young people first experiment with both sex and alcohol. This combination can lead to uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. Research from campuses across the country can help us understand how alcohol is involved in sexual violence and what we can do to increase safety in bars and alcohol-serving venues in college towns, big cities, and rural communities nationwide.

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9 out of 10 college women who were sexually assaulted knew the person who hurt them.

90% of these crimes were never reported.

50% of campus sexual assaults involve a situation in which the perpetrator, the victim, or both were consuming alcohol.

75% of self-reported perpetrators had used alcohol prior to the sexual assault.


You don’t have to work in a bar or nightclub to notice when someone is uncomfortable or unsafe, take action to help them, and give support. Our simple active bystander skills work for anyone, anywhere. Here are three steps that you can practice every day.

1. Notice. Trust your gut. If you see someone is uncomfortable or unsafe take action. Check out this quick video for examples of things to notice.

2. Take Action. For far too long we’ve talked about bystander intervention 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 to make it a team effort.

· Talk About Something Else. Create a clever distraction by starting a conversation, ask a question, pretend you know them, this is your chance to be creative.

For more on the steps you can take check out this short video.

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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 try to help someone 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, message the SAFE Bar Network. And when the time comes, be ready to pay-it-forward by offering support to someone else. Learn how supporting others can change the culture, watch here.

To learn more about joining the SAFE Bar Network contact us at

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 and

To learn more about the field of violence response and prevention visit and

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