You Can Help Make DC A Safer Place To Go Out

We have some great news to share — TWENTY DC-area bars have made safety a standard of service by becoming Safe Bars certified! The Safe Bars program, a partnership between CASS and Defend Yourself, uses innovative bystander education strategies to empower bar staff to recognize and respond to sexual harassment and assault.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy a night out without the fear of being harassed or assaulted, but considering over 50% of sexual assaults involve the use of alcohol as a weapon or as an excuse for aggressive behavior, bars are a natural setting to tackle this problem. Bar staff are on the frontlines of service and are already on the lookout for over-served and unruly patrons, so the Safe Bars program provides a simple, affordable extension of training that can help staff make their patrons, especially women, feel more secure. Using proven bystander intervention techniques, staff can help diffuse threatening situations by engaging potential aggressors before they cross the line.

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Now, while twenty certified Safe Bars is an amazing start, we’re going to need your help to make DC a safer place to go out. The Safe Bars program has already proved successful in preventing at least one assault, and we know that the more bars we reach, the safer DC’s nightlife will become. There are many ways you can help to promote the Safe Bars program:

  • Take a Selfie at a Safe Bar! See the list of trained bars below, and make it a point to patronize them! Be sure to take a selfie with the yellow Safe Bars decal, which can usually be found in the front window of trained bars. Post your selfie on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #RaiseTheBar.
  • Host Your Next Happy Hour at a Safe Bar! If you coordinate a happy hour, sign the Safe Bars Happy Hour pledge. If your favorite HH spot isn’t a Safe Bar, let us know so we can reach out.
  • Ask Your Favorite Bar to Become a Safe Bar! Do you have a bar you’d like trained? Send us a message or tweet. Here’s a sample tweet you can use, and feel free to personalize!
  • Share Your Story! Have you been harassed or assaulted at a bar? You’re not alone. You can anonymously share your story with us.

The Safe Bars program has been completed by the following DC-area bars:

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The Safe Bars training is funded in part by a grant from
Raliance, an initiative funded by the National Football League to support programs that prevent and address sexual violence.