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What's one of the most powerful ways to stop sexual harassment?

As in most problems that plague society, like drunk driving, domestic violence, sexual violence and other bad behavior -- one of the most powerful tools that can be used to stop sexual harassment in its tracks is, you guessed it, education. When Florida communities can educate the victims of sexual harassment -- as well as would-be sexual harassers -- about what sexual harassment looks like, how to identify it and what to do to stop it, we begin to put a spanner in the gearbox of this ugly engine of disgusting behavior.

One new program in Central Florida is doing just that. It's an education initiative aimed at servers and bartenders, which will help people in the service industry identify sexual harassment and intervene when it occurs. The program is called "Drink Safe Florida. It was created by two women who have worked in the adult beverage industry in downtown DeLand for many years.

The women said that in their program, servers receive training on how to assess different circumstances -- especially situations that are happening between the patrons of bars. They learn how to identify instances of sexual harassment or sexual assault, as well as how to de-escalate these situations, so the abuse gets put to a stop.

According to the founders, their training program works to protect everyone: men, women and members of the LGBTQ community. They said that no matter what gender or sexual orientation you identify as, the program will hep you navigate situations where you become the victim of sexual harassment and also situations where you need to intervene because someone else has become the victim.

Any place where alcohol is consumed -- such as a bar -- can become the breeding ground for sexual harassment. However, some might experience even worse sexual harassment in a Florida office place. If you're being victimized right now and no one is listening to your complaints, a Florida employment law attorney can provide information on your available legal options. Remember: You have the power in this situation, and you can make it stop immediately.

Source: Beacon Online News, "Program trains drink servers about identifying, combating harassment," March 22, 2017

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