“The female employees, as well a couple of gay men, have experienced harassment from customers”

1240 Upshur St, NW

“Dear PoPville,

I thought you’d be interested in this program Annie’s just set up. The female employees, as well a couple of gay men, have experienced harassment from customers. Some of the harassment is not such a big deal, and some of it’s pretty threatening.

Female workers who interact with the public often face harassment, and I imagine it’s more frequent at a hardware store because until recently hardware stores were men-only spaces.

Rather than tell the employees that “the customer is always right,” Anne Stom teamed up with my group, Defend Yourself, to train the Annie’s staff.

The male employees are learning bystander intervention techniques so that they can stand up for and be allies to their female and LGBTQ counterparts. The female and LGBTQ employees are learning assertiveness.

All of this in a context that is both customer-friendly and designed to make Annie’s safe and welcoming for all.”

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