Would you intervene to stop a sexual assault?

Dec 11, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Sexual Assault Center of Nashville is working to make something positive come out of the 2013 Vanderbilt campus dorm room rape of an unconscious female student by several university football players.

Sharon Travis does community outreach for the Center. She says one of the most disturbing aspects of the Vanderbilt case was that several people who had opportunity to intervene as the assault was unfolding failed to do so.

Credit sacenter.org

In response, the Center has developed online and in-house training for wait staff at area bars.

The Vanderbilt assault began at a bar and a date rape drug was likely used to incapacitate the victim. Travis says the Safe Bar Training series can help wait staff identify predators and support victims.

“We just wanted to make sure that they were equipped to handle any disclosures, and that they could be just a bit more …we could help build their skillset to be a bit more attentive to recognize offenders, to recognize people who have some intention and have a tool that they could screen them out with.”

Travis says if an assault victim does choose to disclose to you, consider it an honor, but she also says it’s important to be prepared.

“Most people don’t ever disclose, and if they do disclose they only disclose once. If they’re not believed, supported, or if they think it’s their fault it’ll never come out again.”

Another promising development is the availability of test strips that change color if your drink has been drugged.

Would you like to learn more about the Sexual Assault Center and its Safe Bar Training?