In partnership with Stand Up Resources and local businesses, the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched a new MRV Stand Up for Safety program with resources and support for anyone who doesn’t feel safe in any way in the community.
Anna Nasset of Stand Up Resources, Waitsfield, who is also a Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce board member, is the driving force behind the project. Nasset led a training on sexual assault awareness and domestic violence for members of the service industry at Sugarbush Resort in November. She is a stalking survivor and advocate for victims of violence and abuse, as well as a longtime service industry worker.
“This initiative came about in the wake of the workshop Anna Nasset presented in the fall,” MRV Chamber of Commerce executive director Eric Friedman said, “It was very well received with several larger local businesses interested in doing more comprehensive staff training. Another result of the workshop was a desire to have our community present on the topic with a unified voice. Clearly, the chamber was the perfect vehicle to make this happen.”
The MRV Stand Up for Safety page (www.madrivervalley.com/mrv-cares) reads: “In the Mad River Valley, we believe that everyone deserves to be safe from harm. We as a community are standing up to ensure safety of all who live here and visit. Whether you are a resident, visitor or second-home owner, the Mad River Valley community cares about you.” On the page and posters that will appear throughout the community, “You will find a list of helpful resources if you are a victim of crime and need help.” The posters provide a comprehensive list of resources to call if people or someone they know is in an unsafe situation.
“Anna designed the collateral materials and the chamber will be paying for the printing and will disseminate them to hospitality and retail sector businesses,” Friedman said. “As far as she knows, no other community in the nation is doing a collective initiative like this.” Local businesses such as Sugarbush, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Mad River Glen and Waitsfield Telecom are collaborating on the project.
“We view it as a way for guests and community to access help if they are experiencing any form of harm,” Nasset said. “[Posters] are to be placed in bathrooms throughout restaurants, resorts, inns and gas stations. This is a private place where people are able to get the information they need from the MRV Cares page and then access services. Additionally, we have added a number that people can text if they need immediate assistance.”
Text ‘VT’ to 741741 if in crisis.