PASSAGES promotes first ‘Raise the Bar’ project

From staff reports

CLARION – PASSAGES, Inc. staff will be contacting bars and other establishments that serve alcohol in Clarion County for the first Raise the Bar project.

Representatives of PASSAGES, Inc. will be educating bar staff on how they can help prevent Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) and keep their patrons safer.

Staff will provide information including:

  • Myths and facts about DFSA
  • Information about drugs that are commonly used
  • Tips on how to help prevent DFSA
  • Warning signs and how to identify if someone has been drugged
  • Bystander intervention tools
  • Tips to share with patrons on how to stay 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 the perpetrator usually does not have to convince the victim to “try it.”

Executive Director, Marlene Austin, encourages all alcohol serving establishments to participate in this program. She reminds everybody that “alcohol does not cause sexual assault, but we know it is one of the biggest risk factors.

“Having bar staff trained to recognize warning signs and to have bystander intervention skills will not only make each establishment a safer place, but also make our whole community safer,” said Austin.

PASSAGES, Inc. will also seek permission to hang fliers with information about our agency in all bathroom stalls. These fliers create awareness about DFSA and provide suggestions on how to keep our community safe and how to access help.

A bathroom stall can provide a safe and confidential location for individuals who may need help or be seeking information.

In addition to speaking with bar staff on location, PASSAGES, Inc. encourages bar managers and/or owners to contact PASSAGES, Inc. for additional materials and to take part in the bar staff training.

PASSAGES Inc. provides free and confidential services to people affected by sexual violence in Clarion, Jefferson and Clearfield Counties.

For more information about the Raise the Bar program, or to schedule training for your establishment, call Joy Horner at (814) 226-7273 or email

If you or somebody you know has been effected by sexual violence contact PASSAGES, Inc. at (814) 226-7273 or on their 24-hour hotline at (800) 793-3620.