Skip to Content

Raise the Bar

Raise the Bar is an outreach and education initiative to local bars on alcohol and other drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) as well as a bystander intervention training specifically for bar staff. They learn to recognize and intervene when they see warning signs of drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Goals of Raise the Bar

  • Promote an environment of safety in local bars and establishments selling alcohol
  • Inform bar staff and patrons about DFSA, date rape drugs, and local statistics
  • Create dialog around alcohol impairment and sexual assault
  • Create safe plans in the event someone is drugged or overly intoxicated and therefore more susceptible to sexual assault
  • Promote bystander intervention from bar staff


Our outreach consists of disseminating general information about drug-facilitated sexual assault and offering an invitation to attend bystander intervention training for bar staff. We also enjoyed hearing what bar staff in Chapel Hill are already doing to prevent and intervene in instances of drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Bar Staff Training

The training is free for any bar staff (owners, managers, bartenders, hosts, etc.) from local establishments. Interested in bringing Raise the Bar training to your employees? Contact Us to set up a 90-minute training.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about Raise the Bar? Contact Us.

Raise the Bar is adapted from Our VOICE's "Bar Outreach Project" curricula. For more information or to purchase a copy of the curriculum, see their website.

Relevant Research

Graham, K., Bernards, S., Osgood, D. W., Abbey, A., Parks, M., Flynn, A., Dumas, T., & Wells, S. (2014). "Blurred Lines?" Sexual Aggression and Barroom Culture. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 38(5), 1416-1424.

Graham, K., Osgood, D. W., Zibrowski, E., Purcell, J., Gliksman, Lk, Leonard, K., Pernanen, K., Saltz, R. F., Toomey, T. (2004). The effect of the Safer Bars program on physical aggression in bars: results of a randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Review, 23, 31–41.

McKnight A. J., Streff F. M. (1994) The effect of enforcement upon service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons of bars and restaurants. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 26(1),79-88.

Powers, R. A., Leili, J. (2016). "Yeah, We Serve Alcohol, but... We Are Here to Help": A Qualitative Analysis of Bar Staff's Perceptions of Sexual Violence.Violence and Victims, doi: 10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-14-00047

Van Beurden, E., Reilly, D., Dight, R., Mitchell, E., & Beard, J.  (2000) Alcohol brief intervention in bars and taverns: a 12-month follow-up study of Operation Drinksafe in Australia. Health Promotion International, 15(4), 293-302. doi: 10.1093/heapro/15.4.293

Sharing and printing options:
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram