Party Smart started out as a public awareness campaign to provide basic safety tips to local and visiting party goers on the Strip. Over time, as new research and best practices for violence prevention became available, Party Smart shifted to educating the public about active bystander intervention. A few years ago, that public education turned into structured training in bystander intervention for staff at bars and nightclubs.
Today, Party Smart encompasses both the Stay SAFE (Sex Assault Free Environments) and SAint (Sexual Assault Intervention) trainings. In partnership with LVMPD Crime Prevention Specialists, these trainings are provided to security, food and beverage, and other hospitality professionals in Las Vegas. Staff are trained to recognize predatory behavior, identify vulnerable individuals, and given practical strategies for intervening safely to prevent sexual violence. The trainings emphasize that anyone can be vulnerable and anyone can be a predator, so effective prevention comes from recognizing specific behaviors and situations of unequal power in order to effectively identify those who need help. Staff learn to be proactive in looking for possible red flags and acting on them to keep their patrons safe.
Signs of Hope currently has ongoing training relationships with three major hospitality groups including Tao Group and MGM. Stay SAFE and SAint trainings are given on a regular basis, and have even been integrated into internal programs like the MGM Security Training Academy. Multiple club groups and individual establishments also access regular training for their employees.
As part of the ongoing process of improving these trainings, we gather feedback from trainees after each workshop. Staff are invited to share their comments about what they have learned. Here are a few comments from hospitality professionals who have completed these trainings:
Real live events that made a real influence and impact – Drais Night/Day Club training participant
Great Training. Things I really liked were the videos and in-depth explanation, and personal stories of the situations and scenarios – MGM Security Training Academy participant
I learned many things for myself and others in the club and outside – TAO Group training participant
We’re so grateful for the many individuals within law enforcement and hospitality professionals who recognized that immense value of these trainings, and advocated to make them a fixture in the the industry.
Growing the reach of these trainings has been a major goal of our prevention efforts. We can now say with confidence that this evidence-based violence prevention training has been successfully institutionalized in key parts of the hospitality industry. This brings us closer to our goal of creating a culture of prevention within our local industry and, ultimately, reducing violence in our community.