Case Synopsis

Brian Patterson is the owner of The Judge & Jester Tavern (JJ’s), a fictitious bar in London’s downtown entertainment district. JJ’s is popular with students from Western University, but a viral Facebook post describing an experience of assault at the bar has generated negative publicity. Coordinators at Western University, Christine Bellis and Maria Lopez, reached out to ask Patterson if he would be interested in partnering with them and the London Police Service to develop a strategy to prevent sexual violence in London’s bars and clubs.

Patterson has a deep sense of ownership over JJ’s and is interested in making his bar safer but is also concerned about the response from his bar staff and the success of his business. He begins to brainstorm a list of ideas, drawing from programs that have been implemented around the world. How should they approach this problem within the London community? What will their intervention look like? What resources do they have? What do they need to know in order to proceed?

Case Objectives

  1. Describe the social ecological factors contributing to men’s sexual aggression against women in bars and clubs.
  2. Critically appraise the literature on existing approaches in sexual violence prevention.
  3. Identify ways to mobilize communities in sexual violence prevention.
  4. Apply methods, strategies, and theories of behavioural change and health promotion.
  5. Advocate for sexual violence prevention as an important public health issue.

Case Study Questions

  1. Is sexual violence a public health problem?
  2. What are the social determinants of health contributing to sexual violence perpetration in bars? How would you frame them in a Social Ecological model?
  3. Who are potential partners on campus and in the community who you would want to help develop a sexual violence prevention program?
  4. What is the campus climate? What is the community climate? How could this help or hinder the implementation or impact of a sexual violence prevention program?
  5. What are components that should go into a sexual violence prevention initiative?
  6. What are some challenges in developing a new intervention without a substantial body of evidence to support it? Is program theory enough to drive your intervention?


sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, alcohol, nightlife, prevention, health promotion, stakeholder engagement, needs assessment, program planning

Additional Author Information

Justin Lui, MPH

Samantha Wells, PhD, Senior Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research

Mark Speechley, PhD, Professor



Recommended Citation

Lui, J., Wells, S., Speechley, M. (2018). “I Know You Want It”: Preventing Sexual Aggression in Bars. in: McKinley, G. & Sibbald, S.L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2018. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.