Train­ing to pre­vent sex­ual as­sault ex­pands

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - Free­man staff

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.

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