At the SAFE Bar Network, we partner with bars and other alcohol-serving venues to give everyone a safe night out. Manager? Employee? Customer? No one has to do everything but everyone has to do something to check in and help out when someone is uncomfortable or unsafe.
The majority of the time people are hurt by someone that they know. So throw that implicit bias, those preconceived notions, and myths about how people are harmed out the window. Yes, the person who gives you the creeps may be a problem, but the charismatic person who is working the room may also be a problem. Shift the focus from ideas we have about people to observable behaviors and body language. Believe people when they share a concern or ask for help.
In SAFE Bar Training conversations we talk about three simple active bystander skills you can practice every day. 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. You can get others to help or create a distraction.
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 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.
We've learned from some of the best bar owners and managers around what it takes to continue having conversations about bystander intervention. We're sharing their expertise with you through a guide to help have conversations about noticing concerning behavior, interrupting effectively, and offering support to create a fun and safe atmosphere.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or
sexual assault there are organizations here to help.