As UNC grapples with how best to prevent sexual assault on campus, local bar employees met Tuesday to discuss their role in keeping patrons safe.
The training and outreach program, called “Raise the Bar,” promotes awareness of sexual assault in bars and provides bar staff with a plan of action to prevent it, said Arianna Timko, an organizer of the program.
UNC Student Wellness, which hosted the program, collaborated with community volunteers to offer training to teach bar staff in the Chapel Hill area how to prevent drug- and alcohol-facilitated sexual assault.
“We want bars to raise awareness for their staff,” Timko said.
“Bar staff know what (sexual assault) is, they just don’t necessarily call it ‘drug-facilitated sexual assault.’ They see the situations, but we want them to think about what happens three hours later.”
The training focused on helping bar staff recognize the danger of sexual violence between patrons.
Timko said while most people see drug-facilitated assault as involving substances like so-called “date rape” drugs, 79 percent of such attacks involve only alcohol.
Timko, who specializes in interpersonal violence prevention, said she believes starting a dialogue between bar staff and owners about sexual assault is an important step to making bars in Chapel Hill safer.
Daniel Llamas, the manager of Goodfellows bar on Franklin Street who attended the event, said his staff has always been aware of sexual assault, but heightened attention at UNC has put a spotlight on the issue.