Training to prevent sexual assault expands
The Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault Program has been expanded to Saugerties.
The program provides bystander training for restaurant and bar staff to help prevent sexual assaults before they occur and reduce the overall number of sexual assaults that take place, according to a press release from Ulster County Executive Michael Hein’s office. Representatives of several bars and restaurants in Saugerties attended an informational meeting about the program held at the Saugerties Police Department on Wednesday, Jan. 9, the release said. That includes representatives from Annabella Ristorante, Diamond Mills, El Rancho, Rock Da Casbah, and Sue’s Restaurant.
The Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault program is the first such program in New York state, the release said. It added that the program was previously launched in New Paltz and Kingston and has trained 46 staff and nine bars.
“I appreciate the ongoing commitment and dedication of our Crime Victims Assistance Program team for their work in providing these trainings in our community, and I would like to thank (Saugerties) Police Chief Joe Sinagra for his participation in bringing this important program to Saugerties as well as all of the establishment participating in the training,” Hein said in the release. “UCBASA (Ulster County Bystanders Against Sexual Assault) is an unprecedented initiative to empower the owners and employees of Ulster County’s taverns, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, to not only recognize the warning signs but also to intervene in situations where it appears that an individual may be at risk of sexual assault.”
Sinagra said in a statement that the program “is one more step toward protecting vulnerable individuals from sexual assault. To partner with local bars and restaurants in this effort truly epitomizes the concerns we all share in ensuring the safety of all patrons visiting our bars and restaurants.”
The program will hold its next free training at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Sue’s Restaurant, 3101 Route 9W. To participate in the training, RSVP to Sarah KramerHarrison at the Ulster County Crime Victims Assistance Programs at [email protected] co.ulster.ny.us or (845) 3403445.