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What is Raise the Bars?

Raise the Bars is an opportunity for local business owners to contribute to services for sexual assault survivors within the District. In the last 8 months over 220 survivors of sexual assault have needed a medical/forensic exam following the assault—NVRDC’s on-call advocates have responded to each survivor—offering support, information, and follow-up case management advocacy regarding financial compensation, mental health services, and access to legal assistance.

Through NVRDC’s Raise the Bars, restaurants and bars are asked to host a happy hour event in which a portion of the proceeds go directly to support the needs of sexual assault survivors within the District. Each participating business is allowed to determine how much they would like to contribute and the best time to host the event. In addition, these happy hour events raise awareness around the use of alcohol as a means to perpetrate sexual assault. NVRDC staff attends the event and offer resources regarding the appropriate responses to sexual assault and awareness around sexual violence. Assailants use many forms of coercion, threats and manipulation to rape—including alcohol and drugs. Alcohol is the number one date rape drug and most sex assaults are committed by someone we know. Collaborating with bars and bar owners is a crucial step in the fight against sexual assault.

NVRDC’s Raise the Bars acknowledges that sexual violence prevention is part of excellent customer service. When a bar is seen as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable, with friendly and helpful staff, it leads to repeat business and good tips. Looking out for the safety of customers is good for the bar and good for the community. NVRDC hopes that through this collaboration, bars will continue to provide an excellent service and ensure a safe environment for their customers through increasing awareness.

How Can I Help?

Contact NVRDC if you are interested in hosting a Raise the Bars happy hour. Our staff will come to your location for the duration of the event and handout pro-consent and sexual assault awareness and resource materials to your patrons.  Participation in NVRDC’s Raise the Bars is a way for you to let your patrons know that your establishment is on the lookout for everyone’s safety and comfort, and cares about the important issues surrounding sexual assault.

In addition to hosting a Raise the Bars happy hour, contact NVRDC about other ways to contribute directly to services that support the recovery of sexual assault survivors and other victims of crime.

If you are interested in participating please contact Bridgette Stumpf at Bridgette@nvrdc.org or 202-742-1727. NVRDC staff will provide event publicity materials, sexual assault resources and awareness information to all participating bars.