‘Raising the Bar’ initiative aims to curb sex abuse

MALTA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Men With Wellspring, a volunteer group of Wellspring, the Saratoga County domestic violence and sexual assault resource agency, has launched a collaborative project with area bars and restaurants to raise awareness about sexual victimization. Establishments participating in the Raising the Bar project, serve beverages on specially-designed drink coasters, featuring text such as “Sexual violence thrives in silence” and “Cold ones don’t equal consent.”

The coasters are meant to spark conversation amongst patrons and encourage everyone to be involved in changing the social norms that contribute to sexual victimization in their community. The hope is that they will increase awareness about sexual assault and let those who have been victimized know that Wellspring is a local resource that can help.

The coaster also provides access to information about the sexual assault services Wellspring offers. Each of the seven different coaster designs includes either Men With Wellspring’s website address or a QR code that patrons can scan with their phones, which leads to the website.

The response to the project has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Wellspring’s Executive Director, Maggie Fronk. “We were so touched that more than 40 local restaurants and bars immediately and enthusiastically joined forces with us to raise awareness and create social change to reduce sexual victimization in our community,” said Fronk.

“The worst thing we can be is silent,” said Chris Martell, CEO of Druthers Brewing in Saratoga Springs, one of the dozens of local restaurants that have committed to distributing the coasters. “By partnering with Wellspring on their coaster initiative, Druthers hopes to help increase awareness and spread the word to the community that there are organizations like Wellspring who are ready to help.”

Restaurants and bars in Saratoga County who would like to become a Raising the Bar partner can reach out to Men With Wellspring on their website for more information.

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