Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) begins April 1st, and MOCSA has big news. This year, in honor of SAAM and proactive prevention, MOCSA will roll out a new intervention program with bars and restaurants. The program will focus on training bar and restaurant staff to recognize potentially harmful/violent situations and give them the tools to intervene effectively to prevent sexual violence and support survivors.
Statistics show that most victims of sexual assault know the perpetrator. Additionally, 70% of sexual assaults, involve the use of alcohol. However, we know that alcohol is not the problem - the problem is the way perpetrators use this substance, and others, to facilitate sexual assault. To put this in perspective alcohol is used 5 times more often than a weapon in cases of sexual assault (RAINN).
SAFE stands for Sexual Assault Free Environment. From similar programs like Ask for Angela in Lincolnshire, England to the Safe Bar Alliance in Lawrence, KS, communities around the world agree that prevention is possible and that partnering with bars and restaurants generates new energy and allies eager to prevent sexual violence.
Up-Down KC in the Crossroads has signed on to be the first bar to kick off the SAFE Trained program. Up-Down KC Marketing Manager David Hayden explains why, "As an industry, we need to be proactive at addressing what we can do to prevent sexual assault. We can do better and we should do a better job of protecting our guests. This training gives us more tools to do that and we are very fortunate to be able to work with MOCSA to empower our staff to do a better job of protecting our guests."
Although MOCSA's SAAM Committee hopes to sign on more bars through a focused Day of Action on April 4th, and throughout all of April, the SAFE Trained program will be more than just a campaign for SAAM but an entirely new program at MOCSA.
Keep an eye out for SAFE Trained bars and encourage your favorite bar or restaurant to participate in the program. To schedule a SAFE Training please email Haleigh Harrold, Coordinator of Prevention, or call 816-285-1378.