INDIANAPOLIS — The stage is set for Saturday’s Indy Pride Festival at Military Park on the city’s near west side.
In addition to all the festivities, organizers will be utilizing a first-of-its-kind program to ensure everyone is safe when it comes to sexual violence.
This year, all volunteers working at Pride Fest will view a special program called “Indy: Raise the Bar,” which will train them to recognize signs of potential sexual assault or violence among attendees and to intervene safely.
“Well, we’re told to watch for people that might be a little too intoxicated to make consensual decisions. To look for people who might be preying on those that are so intoxicated that they can’t consent,” said Chris Handberg, Indy Pride Executive Director.
Handberg says part of the training also includes identifying places at the festival where sexual assault could occur and setting up barricades to keep people away from those spots.
According to a report by the “Urban Institute,” sexual violence rates among LGBT men and women are double than that of heterosexuals.
The “Raise the Bar” program is part of a new initiative which will expand beyond Pride Fest to local bars, breweries, restaurants and sporting events, and city festivals.
The program will provide sexual violence education and prevention training to staffers.
Indy Pride has teamed up with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Julian Center, the Domestic Violence Network, and the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault to spread this awareness and training.
Watch the “Raise the Bar” training video below: