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Rape Crisis Center Seeks to Raise the Bar in Fight Against Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of this year’s Raise the Bar campaign, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center is working with local bars to address the issue of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. 

Any individual incapacitated by drugs or alcohol is legally unable to give consent to sexual contact. Sixty-eight percent of sexual assaults in Santa Barbara involve the use of alcohol.

Assaults involving alcohol are unlikely to be reported because the survivor may feel he or she bears some responsibility for the crime committed against them. Furthermore, a survivor may not fully recall the assault, or fear that the authorities will not believe that an assault occurred.

In an effort to make Santa Barbara nightlife more safe and enjoyable for all patrons, the Rape Crisis Center is reaching out to local bars to offer free trainings for their staff. These trainings will cover how to identify and intervene in situations that could lead to sexual assault.

We all have a role to play in ending sexual assault in our community. By engaging bystanders to intervene, we send a clear message to perpetrators: sexual assault has no place in Santa Barbara nightlife. 

The next Raise the Bar training will be held Wednesday, April 20, 2016, at Tonic Nightclub. 

Participating businesses that train more than 50 percent of their employees will receive a certification sticker to be placed in their window. For a list of participating bars, please visit www.sbrapecrisiscenter.org.

Karen Villegas is the community education coordinator at the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.


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