The thunderstorms did not stop the momentum built by Athens for Everyone’s Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP) campaign and founding members of 86 Hate. On Monday, June 5th, ASAP hosted an open dry run of a Bystander Intervention workshop at the public library. And while campaign coordinator Kate Dahlstrand had to run interference throughout the event with a projector that did not want to play nice, the content of the meeting and open discussion left everyone in attendance optimistic about creating a culture of consent in the Athens bar scene.
ASAP has been working closely with Madeleine Dahl and Alyssa Donnelly from 86 Hate to develop a free and regularly-occurring workshop on Bystander Intervention. 86 Hate is a local service industry organization that fights hate and prejudice in Athens. They approached ASAP this past November about partnering to work on a workshop that would empower service industry workers who, all too often, witness sexual harassment and potentially dangerous predatory behavior in the workplace.
After months of research, surveys, community outreach and volunteer hours, the workshop is almost ready.
This workshop is tailored to the laws and regulations as they exist in Athens. Its intent is to educate service industry staff and give them the ability to recognize and respond to unwanted sexual situations. It covers alcohol-related laws in Georgia as well as state definitions of sexual harassment and rape while highlighting the ways workers may intervene without the threat of losing their job.
Following the “Four D’s” of Bystander intervention, the workshop demonstrates how to maintain safety in a physical space designed for close encounters and intoxication:
- Direct Action: Point out the threatening behavior
- Distract: Help a potential victim get away from someone who poses a threat
- Delegate: Alert bartenders, bouncers, servers, or customers that an individual is in a harmful situation
- Delay: Ask a potential victim if they need help or further support to ensure their safety and well-being
And still, ASAP and 86 Hate both recognize that “death by Powerpoint” is not a viable solution to ending rape culture in a small southern college town with a huge bar scene. Beyond these tactics, this workshop seeks to learn from those in attendance. The bouncer at an undergraduate-friendly club knows different information than the bartender in Normaltown. After the laws have been explained and the Four D’s clarified, group discussions of real-life scenarios will allow the service industry to work together to find solutions.
Scenarios have been culled from an Athens survey distributed earlier this year by 86 Hate. If a situation was mentioned more than twice, odds are it’s covered in the workshop. The survey also informed the extent to which this workshop considers sexual harassment and potential assaults. The workshop will engage attendees to think about customers, co-workers, and management. Attendees will leave the workshop with information on local, state and national sexual assault prevention resources.
Dates, times, and locations for these workshops are currently being determined. If you’d like to offer your space, or if you are interested in participating, please contact Kate Dahlstrand at ASAP@AthensforEveryone.com
June 22, 2017by