If you have recently had one of our community outreach staff come to your door or have heard about them working in your neighborhood, please review the below questions to learn a bit more about why we canvass and how you can connect with our Canvass Director.
You can also view a schedule at the left (updated weekly) to see when our canvassers will be in your community.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do you send people door to door?
The Blue Bench has a team of passionate, full-time and highly trained community organizers who are committed to inspiring fellow community members to join us in our fight to end sexual assault. We find our door-to-door efforts to be an incredibly effective way to inform the public about the realities of sexual assault, to collect donations, and, perhaps most importantly, to ensure every household in the Denver area knows this resource exists for them and their loved ones. Throughout our history, many people have found the courage, by talking with one of our canvassers, to seek the support they need to heal.
Is this a legitimate organization/operation?
Yes. The Blue Bench began in 1983 as a rape crisis hotline in the basement of a church after the concerned friends of a survivor discovered there were no support-based resources in Denver. To raise funds for the organization and spread the word about the crisis line, the friends went door to door. This was successful 30+ years ago and continues to be a successful way for the organization to engage with the community and spread awareness about our cause.
We also coordinate with the neighborhoods we canvass in as well as alert local police departments about our presence.
Isn’t it odd to send young women out alone at night to knock on strangers’ doors?
We know that in Colorado, 1 in 3 women will be the victim of an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime. Safety is always a top priority for our staff, which is why we canvass in groups within every neighborhood, have multiple staff check-ins during the evening and coordinate with local police whenever we are working in a community. We are also fighting to eliminate the rape culture stigma that women must always be hyper-vigilant and are solely responsible for “not being assaulted.” One of the messages we often speak about is holding the perpetrator accountable for their actions rather than blaming the victim from not being able to prevent an assault. Our goal as an organization is to foster communities where everyone, (including men, who are sexually assaulted at a rate of 1 in 6 in Colorado) will be safe.
Why are you knocking on my door so late/can’t you come earlier?
In our efforts to reach out to as many people as possible, we knock on doors from 4-9 pm. We find that this is when the most people are home and willing to engage with our staff about the issue.
I have a “No Solicitors” sign at my house. Why are you still knocking on my door?
As a nonprofit organization, canvass activities that advocate civic, religious, charitable or political causes are exempt from the “No Knock” ordinance that exists in some neighborhoods. Some communities will give our canvassers badges to wear around the neighborhood that explains this exemption.
How often do you come to my neighborhood?
The Blue Bench serves 9 counties throughout metro Denver including Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Lincoln, Elbert, Jefferson, Gilpin, Broomfield and Adams, which adds up to a lot of different neighborhoods to visit. Because of this, we visit each zip code once a year. We try to make sure canvassers are not repeating houses during our time in a community, but mistakes can happen. We apologize if you’ve had more than one person knock on your door during our time in your community.
One of your canvassers was very rude to me or made me feel unsafe. What can I do about this?
Disrespectful, threatening, aggressive or rude behavior is NEVER part of our training nor do we condone it from any member of our staff under any circumstances. If you felt you had a particularly negative experience with one of our outreach staff that was not addressed by the information above, we want to hear about it so we can address it directly with our staff. Please fill out the form below or contact our Canvass Director Sydney Burke at 303-329-9922 Ext. 314.