Sioux Falls, S.D. - Finding a way to prevent sexual assault and harassment is on a lot of people’s minds.
In Sioux Falls, one bar is taking a hands on approach to spotting and stopping sexual harassment and assault.
A program called safe bars is working to prevent it, one person at a time.
“This is a safe space and we are a safe bar and we are proud of that, but we've also gone through a certification program is really really important,” Remedy Brewing Company Events Coordinator Kelcey Schroder said.
Monday night Remedy Brewing Company closed its doors and became the first Sioux Falls business to learn ‘Safe Bars’.
“Help them identify what sexual harassment and sexual assault behaviors look like,” The Compass Center Executive Director Michelle Markgraf said. “Often times we say oh that’s nothing. That’s just a little thing, but helping them understand how those little things can quickly blow up into something big and dangerous.”
Last year, The Compass Center got a grant from the South Dakota Community Foundation.
It helped them bring in trainers from D.C. that trained those at the Compass Center, so they in turn could train employees at bars and restaurants.
The program includes roll play and focuses on the 3 D's: distract, direct, and delegate.
“Getting somebody away from the person that they are targeting,” Markgraf said. “Another one is being direct which would be hey you need to leave this person alone and the last one is going to find someone else and having them intervene for you.”
Another way is looking at a situation where a young girl is about to be sexually assaulted.
It looks at what people along the way could have done including the bartender.
It’s something staff at Remedy Brewing Company say, they want to know how to prevent.
“They realize how important it is to not only just be a bartender, but also be aware of situations how to handle them safely,” Schroder said.
Schroder said it can’t just be one or two people responsible.
Everyone needs to work to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
“We can’t leave it up to the survivor, the person it’s happening to,” Markgraf said. “We can’t leave it up to one or two people. It has to be the whole community stepping up and doing something about sexual assault.
If you would like to become ‘Safe Bar’ certified, you can reach out to the Compass Center.