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Raising the Bar

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-- The University of Iowa has pledged to fight sexual assaults on campus.

And with the school year around the corner and with more students moving back, the bars will be seeing more business.

With that, there is a potential for many things to happen like underage drinking or rape, so they want to step up their game.

A new sexual assault prevention training called "Raise the Bar" has already been developed in other states like Arizona and Maryland. Two trainers in Iowa City want to get bars trained.

About two months ago, Nick Carroll, General Manager for Brother's Bar in Iowa City, said he read an article promoting the training and signed his staff up.

"Getting people out of here safely is job #1," he said. "I think it's important."

Carroll believes it's important for his staff to act on their feet.

Monday, his staff spend two hours with two trainers who taught them to pick out the "red flags" involving sexual assault cases.

"We have witnessed it," Carroll said. "It's something we have seen and dealt with."

Megan Schorr, Violence Prevention Coordinator, says it's important to train bartenders to be courageous and be that one person to step in before it's too late.

"We talk about the barriers that limit us from intervening in everyday life and ways we can overcome those barriers," Schorr said.

Schorr along with Susan Junis, trained the staff at Brother's Bar about the definition of sexual assault and methods that predators use to commit those crimes.

"When incidents like that occur often times there are people witnessing it," Junis, the Rape Advocate Program Education Coordinator said.

"There are people who are there and seeing what's going on, saying like 'this is creepy' or 'I don't like what's going on.'"

Junis said it's important to educate the community on having the courage to step into a situation that potentially could save an incident life.

"We know sexual assault is a problem and it happens everywhere and what makes a difference is the community's response to sexual assault."

They want bar staff to note when something bad is happening and stop the crime before it's too late.

Schorr and Junis acted out scenarios for the bar staff at Brother's so they could practice and get ready for the school year.

And also help Carroll feel confident in relying on his staff to do what's right.

"It reaffirms we are doing the right thing, stepping in is the right thing," Carroll said.

Both Schorr and Junis want all bar and liquor establishments in Iowa City and Coralville to be trained.

They have trained the staff also at Bo-James and will be training bar staff at Sports Column and Summit.

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