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  • Writer's pictureSAFE Bar Network

The Reality is There are People Making Customer Unsafe & Uncomfortable

The bar and restaurant business is built on repeat customers coming to relax, let loose, and celebrate. But the reality is that on any given night there are people who are making customers and staff uncomfortable and unsafe.

At the SAFE Bar Network we set out to help bar staff, managers, and owners learn the skills to have continuous conversations about noticing concerting behavior, interrupting effectively, and showing each other support. Together we are creating a culture focused on taking action to give everyone a comfortable, safe, and fun atmosphere.

Watch the quick video below to learn more.

We know from SAFE Bar Training that bar staff and managers are already noticing concerning behavior. The next step is taking action when you notice that someone is uncomfortable or unsafe.

For the longest time we have talked about bystander intervention as though there is only one solution. To put on a cape, be a superhero, and do something directly. Yes, we know that works. You can say something to the person hurt or say something to the person causing the problem. But that is not the only option.

We also know that there are two other options that work just as well.

You can get others to help. Get their friends to help. Ask your outgoing coworker to step in or get a manager involved.

You can talk about something else or create a distraction. This may seem silly, but it is just as effective. When you create a distraction, you are sending three clear messages.

  1. You are letting the person causing the problem know, I see you.

  2. You are letting the person being hurt know, I see you. And you are giving them a way out of the situation.

  3. You are telling everyone else that is watching that it’s important to you that people have a great time and feel safe.

All three of these options work equally well. The most important thing is that, when you think of ways to help, you are thinking of things that you will realistically do.

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

There are everyday active bystanders practicing these skills every day. Hear their stories here, Everyday Active Bystanders.

This is the second video in our SAFE Bar mini-training series. Check out the more SAFE Bar Mini Training Series videos, Things to Notice, Creating Culture Change.

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

Curious about what bar owners have to say about the SAFE Bar Network? Watch this quick video to hear from bar owner and SAFE Bar Network founder Kevin Fitzpatrick.

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

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

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

*Adapted from the Green DOT, Alteristic

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