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The Blue Bench in the News

  • April 28, 2024 - The new legislation is an expansion of the Rape Shield law that stops certain pieces of victim information from being used as evidence in court.

  • April 9, 2024 - Isaac Vargas interviews RISE Featured Artist, Tlalli, RISE Co-Founder, Jenn Merz, and The Blue Bench's Executive Director, Megan Carvajal, about the third annual RISE art show and the impact VOCA funding cuts will have on survivors like those apart of our show.

  • April 7, 2024 - "For many, after an assault, it can be difficult to put into words the trauma they've experienced. Survivors in Denver are finding a path to healing through art."

  • April 3, 2024 - RISE Co-Founder, Jenn Merz Color Queen, 2024 RISE Featured Artist, Tlalli, and RISE exhibition team member, D, shared their stories in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Start by Believing campaign by the Denver Police

  • April 3, 2024 - "In Denver, RemainReal Fine Art Gallery is including an art exhibit, created by survivors of sexual assault. This shares a powerful message that survivors are not alone. Three survivors, Jenn Merz CQ -- which stands for "color queen," Tlalli and D, shared their stories Wednesday."

  • February 26, 2024 - "The biggest source of funding in the state to support people who've been a victim of a crime is about to take a massive hit. Now, victims' service providers are hoping the state can step in so they can keep supporting survivors. 'It feels like a lot more people than what already do would fall through the cracks,' said Laura Patlan, client services co-director at The Blue Bench. "

  • February 5, 2024 - "Advocates with The Blue Bench say this tool is needed. They're just surprised it took so long to implement. 'You know, if this has happened to you, this is not your fault. It's the fault of the person who chose to do it. And it is never too late to ask for help,' said Ana Martinez, Clinical Program Manager at The Blue Bench. "

  • Jan. 25, 2024 - "But victims’ advocate Casey Ballinger, who’s also on the SOMB and works for a sexual violence prevention nonprofit, agrees with providers on the value of treatment in prison. Without it, Ballinger said, prison settings don’t always allow offenders the tools to take accountability for their actions."

  • January 3, 2024 - "'It's terrifying to think about there being more victims and it's not surprising,' said Megan Carvajal, executive director of the Blue Bench. Carvajal said the staff at Blue Bench are always busy, working around the clock to help victims of sexual assault. She said it's scary to think that Alamillo-Gonzales, a man accused of sexually assaulting and kidnapping multiple women in Denver, could have more victims still out there."

  • November 29, 2023 - "'Law enforcement has access to a lot more resources than DORA has, and if they had passed that along, there might have been a way for law enforcement to step in and interfere before this man was able to harm more people,' Bailey Brand of The Blue Bench said."

  • Nov 1, 2023 - These for-profit and nonprofit winners are making a mark on the Denver area — and beyond.

  • August 12, 2023 - "'It's scary. It's scary for all of us," said Megan Carvajal, executive director at The Blue Bench, a center for sexual assault survivors. Even when we don't hear about it and may assume it's not happening, she said sexual violence is still everywhere. "I'm very grateful to the survivors who chose to report this to help us end this," said Carvajal."

  • July 22, 2023 - "Casey Ballinger, a spokesperson and advocate for the Blue Bench, a sexual assault prevention and survivor support center in Denver, said survivors already had faced significant difficulties receiving accountability through the legal system."

  • Jun. 08, 2023 - "The Blue Bench, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to ending sexual assault and supporting survivors, will host its 40th anniversary celebration at Ratio Beerworks."

  • April 25, 2023 - "It’s pretty serious. It’s concerning," said Casey Ballinger, the lead advocate at The Blue Bench, an organization that helps survivors of sexual assault. She said the conversation about fake IDs could fit a definition of grooming.

  • April 7, 2023 - "Casey Ballinger, a lead advocate with the Blue Bench, an organization that tries to prevent sexual assault, said date rape cases are generally underreported. She says about one of every 10 sexual assaults reported to her organization fall under the umbrella of date rape. She told CBS News Colorado the reason the cases are not often reported is because the victims and perpetrators know each other, victims fear retaliation and fear not being believed."

  • March 29, 2023 - "Though creating art was positive for her mental health, it was not enough to work through her sexual trauma. At the recommendation of her therapist, Merz began getting help from the Blue Bench, a comprehensive sexual assault survivor support and prevention education center. The nonprofit's mission is 'to eradicate sexual assault and diminish the impact it has on individuals, their loved ones, and our community through comprehensive issue advocacy, prevention, and care.'"

  • March 24, 2023 - "Nobody wants to talk about sexual violence," said Megan Carvajal, the executive director of The Blue Bench, a sex assault survivor center. "We have the opportunity to change that conversation--that makes it easier for survivors to seek support, it makes it easier for them to report.

  • April 6, 2022 - “'Denver encourages everyone to believe victims of sexual assault, and we must continue the shift from doubt and blame to belief and support,' Hancock said. 'We should start by believing because our reaction has the potential to make a direct impact on those close to us, and we should make it a positive impact.'"

  • December 6, 2021 - Jacqui Aamodt with The Blue Bench joins us to discuss how the holidays can be challenging. The Blue Bench 24-hour sexual assault hotline is 303-322-7273.

  • Sep 12, 2021 - "At The Blue Bench, requests from sexual assault survivors for therapy and case management services have increased exponentially in 2021, compared to 2020, resulting in a 4-week wait time for some services." - Opinion piece from Executive Director of The Blue Bench, Megan Carvajal

  • April 22, 2021 - Beta Theta Pi created Beta’s Blue Heart Gala, an event that was originally scheduled to be held in the Arrow Touchdown Club at Farrand Field in April 2020... Even though the gala had to be postponed, the brothers were able to raise just over $7,000 from pre-ticket sales for The Blue Bench.

  • March 27, 2021 - "Sudev is Hotline Advocate with The Blue Bench, a Denver-based organization that specializes in assisting survivors of gender-based violence and sexual assault. When the pandemic hit and his classes at the University of Denver abruptly shifted online, Sudev searched for ways to help his community."

  • Jan 17, 2020 - Susie Roman is with the “Blue Bench,” a Denver-based organization... Roman says the “person of trust” charge is extremely important. “What’s happening is sexual violence. It’s not consensual sex,” Roman said.

  • December 22, 2018 - Across the Denver metro area, hospitals are reporting that they’ve seen an increase in 2018 in patients who have been sexually assaulted.

  • September 28, 2018 - "A surge in calls seeking help poured into a rape crisis service center serving Denver and surrounding counties as the Senate Judiciary Committee explored allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee U.S. District Judge Brett Kavanaugh."

  • Nov. 24, 2017 - "First it’s just a lot of defining what sexual assault is and what that looks like, starting with more sexual harassment type activities and then moving on to the full scope of a sexual assault," said Karmen Carter, executive director of The Blue Bench. "[It's also] talking to them about what they can do to change conversations or call each other on comments that they think are inappropriate."

  • September 14, 2017 - "The bench is a part of an installation for the Blue Bench Campaign which aims to put an end to sexual assault through prevention and care such as educational curriculum, self-defense classes, counseling services, a support hotline, and more. The organization was founded in 1983 as the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program."

  • April 19, 2017 - "The Blue Bench, a nonprofit working to end sex assault, is behind the benches, working to place them in spots where conversations can be started. Karmen Carter, executive director of The Blue Bench, sat down with 9NEWS (on a blue bench, of course) to talk about them."

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