York bar trains staff to spot sexual violence

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YORK, Pa. — A program in York is helping bartenders learn how to spot sexual violence and put  a stop to it.

The YWCA is teaming up with ‘Liquid Hero Brewery’ in York to give their bartenders a new set of skills through ‘Beyond the Bar’ training.

“It’s not about physically intervening with someone, you could do something as small as give someone a look, ask a question make a statement,” said Laura Lamar, bartender at Liquid Hero in York.

Laura Lamar, who has been a bartender for nearly 15 years says she’s seen it all.

“It can be very subtle sometimes and we often question our own motives and think did I just hear that or see that properly,?”said Lamar.

 That’s where YWCA’s training comes in, teaching bartenders to recognize red flags, intervene and be an active bystander.

“By just inserting yourself physically, or sliding a glass of water over and making eye contact with someone, you’re letting them know, you’re letting both sides of this party know I’m watching and you’re letting a victim know I’ve got your back, I’m paying attention and you’re letting the perpetrator know I’m watching you, we’re onto you,” added Lamar.

“With this training we’re hoping that bar staff feels more comfortable intervening when there’s a possibility of sexual violence occurring,” said Katie Hershey, YWCA.

Katie Hershey with the YWCA says that giving bartenders those skills will be a total game changer.

“I think that with more bars in our area that get trained, more people realize that that they’re not going to be able to get away with some things. Prevention is key when it comes to sexual violence and sexual assault and once we start that conversation and start it early, the more we talk about it the more that our community can stand up and say this is not okay with us, let’s do something about it,” said Hershey.

“I’m hoping that we’re setting a precedence and we’re saying, hey neighbors and friends, here’s something that we can do  that will empower our community, that will enhance all of our businesses, and as a whole create a safer zone for York City,” added Lamar.

If your bar or restaurant is interested in receiving the training, you can contact the YWCA in York for more information:

YWCA York 

320 East Market St.

York, PA. 17403

Phone: 717-845-2631

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