January 7, 2022

Springfield, IL (January 7, 2022) Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault (PCASA) announces the launch of a new bystander intervention program specifically aimed at reducing sexual violence in central Illinois bars and night clubs, Raise the Bar.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes sexual violence is a serious public health threat stating more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.  The CDC further recognizes alcohol use as a potential risk factor for sexual violence, and acknowledges that alcohol is the most commonly used substance in drug-facilitated sexual assault.

Raise the Bar will teach and empower bar and nightclub owners and staff to recognize problematic behavior and safely intervene to halt the situation. The two-hour workshops focus on positive messaging, bystander engagement, and changing social norms. This multi-faceted approach will help create long-term change by eliminating many myths surrounding sexual violence and ultimately creating safer communities.

Currently, PCASA is inviting community leaders and organizations to join them as stakeholders in Raise the Bar.  Stakeholders are invited to be involved at the level they are most comfortable with and what their time allows.  Levels of participation include (but are not limited to):

  • Providing an endorsement of the program
  • Helping PCASA identify potential venues interested in participating in the Raise the Bar
  • Help distribute Raise the Bar marketing materials to local establishments
  • Go through the Raise the Bar training to better understand how both men and women can be allies in the prevention of sexual violence in central Illinois.
  • Become certified as a Raise the Bar trainer and help conduct workshops.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Raise the Bar program is invited to attend one of two online meeting via Eventbrite and Zoom.  Please search Raise the Bar Stakeholder Meeting at Eventbrite or on Facebook Events for links to the day and time that works best for you:

Interested parties may also email to find out more about Raise the Bar.

PCASA has a two-fold purpose: to alleviate the suffering of sexual assault victims and to prevent sexual violenc. We assist men, women, children and families in eleven (11) central Illinois counties through the trauma of sexual violence by providing crisis intervention, medical advocacy and trauma counseling. Prairie Center advocates for victim rights in the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. Our prevention education programs focus on reducing the likelihood of sexual victimization, particularly in the lives of children and adolescents.  Diversity, equity, and social justice are core values of our organization.  PCASA is committed to advancing racial justice. 



If you would like more information about this event or program, please contact Deb Bonner at 217-744-2560 or email