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Our VOICE Bar Outreach Project

Our VOICE Bar Outreach Project

Our Voice collaborates with Buncombe County Health and Human Services in order to keep bar patrons safe from sexual assault

Our Voice is kicking off an exciting new partnership with the Buncombe County Environmental Health Inspectors. The collaboration will be based on Our Voice’s Bar Outreach program, an innovative approach to addressing and preventing incidences of Drug and Alcohol Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA). During their regularly scheduled visits to county establishments that serve alcohol, representatives of the Environmental Health Department will provide bar staff and managers information about Our Voice and about how they can participate in the Bar Outreach program.

Bar staff in the county will also be encouraged to participate in a comprehensive training that addresses DFSA, effective bystander intervention strategies and ways to keep bar patrons safe.

The use of so called “date rape drugs” continues to rise. These drugs are typically flavorless, odorless, and are undetectable in the body within 36 hours of ingestion. Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in sexual assaults as perpetrators usually do not have to convince victims to drink.

“If this coordination results in only one bartender using interventions learned through the Bar Outreach Program to prevent one drug facilitated sexual assault from occurring, then it’s been a successful use of resources and worth the effort of our dedicated staff members.” – Jessica Silver, Environmental Health Director

Through this collaboration Our Voice hopes to create awareness about DFSA and to train bar staff countywide in effective ways to focus on preventing sexual violence before it occurs. The commitment and dedication to this issue on the part of county government agencies, shows the positive ways our community is working together to end the silence of sexual violence.

In addition to speaking with bar staff on location, Our Voice encourages bar managers and/or owners to contact us for additional materials or to take part in the Bar Staff Training.

For more information, call (828)252-0562 or visit our website at www.ourvoicenc.org

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