Restaurant-Table

University Police Partners with Capital Region Safer Bars and Local Establishments to Offer Sexual Assault Intervention Training

University Police at SUNY Cobleskill and Capital Region Safer Bars (CRSB) are partnering to bring a successful professional education initiative to restaurants and bars in Schoharie County. Already rolled out in Albany and Schenectady counties, CRSB seeks to create safe and thriving nightlife communities through training service staff at participating locations to recognize, intervene, and prevent sexual violence.

Safer-Bars-Window-Decal

CRSB is funded by a Rape Prevention Grant from the New York State Department of Health and managed by Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY). It is part of a larger, statewide initiative that focuses on working with bars and restaurants to end sexual aggression and violence and to promote a safe and healthy nightlife experience.

Staff members at bars and restaurants who choose to participate in the initiative will receive free, evidence-based bystander intervention training courses that teach staff how to be active bystanders and give them the tools to safely and effectively intervene in aggressive situations. Training will be led by CRSB instructors. Establishment owners will also have access to ongoing consultation with a prevention specialist to create and assess a safe environment action plan.

Patrons will be able to recognize the establishments that have participated in the initiative through a window decal displaying their designation as a Safer Bar.

“As evidence shows that sexual assaults are more likely to occur in settings where alcohol was consumed, it is important that we as a community bring new layers of protection to these settings, and give staff members the confidence and know-how to be, in a sense, first responders in situations where an assault may be likely to occur,” said Richard Bialkowski, Chief of University Police at SUNY Cobleskill. “We have already received a great reception from several businesses wanting to participate in this initiative and ultimately create a more secure recreational setting for residents and visitors.”

“Bar and restaurant staff already work hard to create an enjoyable experience for their patrons. We are thrilled to offer the Safer Bars program to build upon their existing skills,” said Jennifer Spencer, Director of Survivor Support Services at PPGNY. “Our facilitators will partner with bar staff to help them identify and respond to sexual aggression and help prevent situations from escalating. Kudos to the Cobleskill community for taking the initiative to create safer nightlife spaces.”

Bars and restaurants in Schoharie County interested in participating in the CRSB program can contact Chief Bialkowski at 518-255-5317 or by emailing bialkort@cobleskill.edu or Tina Morey, Survivor Support Services Coordinator, at 518-813-8433 or by emailing tina.morey@ppgreaterny.org.

 

 

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