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84 Percent of Women Experience Verbal or Physical Harassment in Missoula Bars

make your move
make your move

In a shocking new survey just released by the ‘Make Your Move’ campaign to end sexual violence, 84 percent of women surveyed said they had experienced verbal harassment or a physical altercation at least once in a Missoula bar or tavern.

Brenna Merrill, Prevention Specialist at Missoula City-County Relationship Violence Services, said 321 Missoulians completed the survey. 83 percent were women, and 17 percent were men.

“We were funded by a national grant from a group called ‘Raliance’ to help bystander intervention in bar settings,” Merrill said. “What we wanted was Missoula-specific data. We wanted to be able to share with Missoula bartenders what exactly was happening here in our community, to find out what this harassment actually looks like.”

Merrill said most people who go out do experience some type of harassment.

“When you look specifically at sexual harassment, either sexual touch or sexual comments, that number is between 68 and 69 percent, which is also incredibly high,” she said. “The numbers and the stories of people who intervene in these situations help the bartenders that we’re training to feel more comfortable and better prepared to intervene when they see sexual harassment.”

The press release also states: Brad Martens, one of The Rhinoceros’ owners reflects, “Make Your Move! is a viable program to educate the staff in identifying and reacting to sexual harassment and sexual assault. The class also helps develop strategies to use in your own business policy handbook. I would recommend the class to staff, management and owners of any business.”

Make Your Move! Bar Workshops are available free of charge to any alcohol-serving establishment. Interested businesses should contact Brenna Merrill at (406) 258-3838.

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