These Bartenders Are Fighting Sexual Harassment

Earlier this month, CASS collaborated with Mic on a new video promoting our Safe Bars program. The innovative Safe Bars program teaches bar staff via a flexible, two-hour training to respond to sexual harassment and prevent it from escalating to assault. Since the program’s inception, over twenty bars in DC have stepped up as Safe Bars.


A study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that 1 out of every 4 women will experience some form of sexual assault in their adolescence or early adulthood, and at least half of those crimes occur while the perpetrator and/or victim was under the influence of alcohol. Equipped with the Safe Bars training, bar staff are able to recognize and respond to incidents of harassment and assault, allowing patrons to feel safer while enjoying a night out.

The Safe Bars program has not only seen success in its designation of over twenty bars in DC, but in the implementation of the training mechanisms taught in the two-hour program. As featured in this Upworthy article, two bartenders at local a safe bar, Churchkey, noticed a man aggressively interacting with a woman who had been drinking alone at the bar. The two bartenders intervened on three occasions to dissuade unwanted advances from the man and ultimately confronted him when he went in for an unwanted kiss. The bartenders ultimately assured the safety of the woman and helped her get a ride home.  

The Safe Bars program is currently in the process of expanding to Denver, Portland, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

We’re looking to supporters like you to help build the Safe Bars movement! CASS is currently looking for recommendations for local alcohol-serving establishments — particularly in the NE, SE, and SW — to participate in the Safe Bars program. If there is a bar you would like to see trained, please reach out to jayni@collectiveactiondc.org.

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