Vera House Marks One Year of Training Bartenders and Servers to Spot Domestic Violence

Mar 26, 2019

Men’s Outreach Coordinator George Kilpatrick with Vera House trains bartenders and servers to spot domestic violence on the job.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

A Vera House Program is helping bartenders and servers in Syracuse to spot domestic violence and abuse with the ‘Raise the Bar’ program.  The program has been in existence for about a year now. 


Men’s Outreach Coordinator George Kilpatrick says servers improving their observational skills allow them to take action in unsafe situations.

“It starts with the observation and being aware not only of what’s happening right in front of them, but what’s happening all around them.”

Kilpatrick says alcohol is a factor in many cases resulting in assault. Training bartenders and servers prevents incidents before they happen and allows innovation for the safety of patrons.

“We’re not saying people can’t go out and have a good time. But we are saying that even as they are having a good time, they should be able to do that in an environment free of abuse and free of unwanted attention.”

The White Ribbon Campaign is also asking for community members to be involved in training to handle domestic disturbances.  They’re especially asking men to ‘step-up’ and join the White Ribbon Walk this Friday at noon in Clinton Square. The campaign is led by men and others in the community raises awareness to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse.