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The Blue Bench

As metro Denver's only comprehensive sexual assault support & prevention center, The Blue Bench works tirelessly to eliminate sexual assault & diminish the impact it has on individuals, their loved ones & our community by providing a safe space for survivors & a platform for advocates.

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Continuum of Care

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Crime/Abuse Victims
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Whether a sexual assault just occurred or happened in the past, it is not always easy for victims to speak up and get help. Sexual assault results in a wide range of emotions, from fear and anxiety to guilt and shame. Our Continuum of Care Program starts with a 24-hour English and Spanish hotlines (available 7 days a week), where trained volunteers offer emotional support and can connect callers to professional services and referrals to community services. Twenty-four-hour hospital accompaniment is also available and can be accessed through the hotline.

Case managers are Care Team members who help navigate clients through the entire process with emotional support and help with day-to-day living. Case Managers provide hospital support and serve as liaisons to the criminal justice system. They accompany clients to interviews with law enforcement and District Attorney/attorney meetings and accompany clients to court appearances. They also serve as liaisons to other community services to aid the client in getting through daily living needs and are able to offer this service in English and Spanish.

Victims and their support networks have several options for healing and recovering from the trauma. Professional, graduate-level therapists at The Blue Bench offer individual and group therapy at low or no cost to help them recover their mental health. Sexual assault takes away a sense of control in a victim's life and The Blue Bench focuses on helping survivors take back that control and to understand that sexual assault is never the victim's fault and it is not to be tolerated. The focus is on the strengths and assets of the survivors and helping them get back to functioning effectively and productively in all their roles: holding a job, being a parent, being a family member, and participating in the community. The Blue Bench's trauma informed care focuses on the many strengths of the survivor and how they contribute to recovery and self-sufficiency for each person.

The Blue Bench is the only organization of its type to offer this life-changing service at low/no cost in the Metro-Denver area. This is extremely important for individuals who cannot afford therapy as 70% of our clients have a household income of less than $35,000. In 2015, the ethnic make-up of who we served were: 51% White; 25% Hispanic; 7% African American; 6% Multi-Racial; 2% Asian, 1% Native American and 8% Unknown Race. The Blue Bench participates in the Victim Services Network which allows us to build collaborative relationships with a variety of service providers to reach underserved populations and communities, including the Colorado Providers for Integration Network. The Blue Bench offers therapy in English, Spanish and French. Clients from several different African countries have been served at The Blue Bench using translators, when needed.

In 2015, The Blue Bench has provided: case management to 219 people; therapy to 202 people; and both therapy and case management to 26 people and responded to 2,161 hotline calls.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Counseling programs use the Trauma Symptom Inventory (TSI) to measure the outcome of therapy services. With this system clients are asked to complete the TSI at the beginning and end of therapy. Scores from three scales on the TSI (Trauma Scale, Self Scale, and Dysphoria Scale) will be used to evaluate whether clients' symptoms improve over the course of their therapy at The Blue Bench. We expect that the scores on these three scales will decrease as a result of therapy.

Volunteer training will be tracked internally and evaluated through skill assessments and participant satisfaction surveys. Volunteer retention will be monitored through documentation gathered through volunteer supervision and exit interviews.

24-Hour Sexual Assault Hotline forAll Genders

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Crime/ Abuse Victims
General Public/Unspecified
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

Whether a sexual assault just occurred or happened in the past, it is not always easy for victims to speak up and get help. Sexual assault results in a wide range of emotions, from fear and anxiety to guilt and shame. Our Continuum of Care Program starts with a 24-hour English and Spanish hotlines (available 7 days a week), where trained volunteers offer emotional support and can connect callers to professional services and referrals to community services. Twenty-four-hour hospital accompaniment is also available and can be accessed through the hotline.

Hotline volunteers must complete 40 hours of crisis hotline training. Volunteer hospital advocates my train on hotline for at least six months, attend monthly hotline meetings, and complete an additional 8 hours of specialized training.
24-hour English-speaking Hotline 303-322-7273

24-hour Spanish-speaking Hotline 303-329-0031

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Hotline Mon.-Fri. during office hours 303-329-0023

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Evidence of Program's Success

We are successful when we can empathize, educate and empower each appropriate caller to our hotline. We want them to know that they are not alone and that we will connect them with the right resources and provide them with the most up-to-date information about resources and care available.

Pathway to Prevention

Class

Human Services 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified

Description

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, at any time, in any place.That's why we focus much of our effort on prevention education and issue awareness.The Pathway to Prevention Programs educate youth through adults to create a lifelong conversation to empower, educate and prevent sexual assault. Each program and curriculum is designed with age-appropriate content and information.

The Blue Bench offers Bringing in the BystanderTM, an evidence-based curriculum designed to arm high school and college students with skills needed to help make their campuses safer and to reduce the incidence of sexual violence. Safety & Empowerment Skills for Women is offered to female-identified teens and adults. This curriculum offers a safe space for participants to learn and practice verbal and physical assertiveness and self-protection skills. Keeping Kids Safe, a community and school-based program designed for elementary students' parents, teachers, and other adult caregivers, is designed to empower participants and equip them with knowledge, tools and strategies for talking about sexual assault with young children and intervening when they recognize warning signs. Let's Talk About It is an in-depth curriculum for middle school aged youth which focuses on healthy relationships, boundaries and skill-building to become an active bystander. We also provide professional education and training to help physicians, medical staff, attorneys and others playing a role in the healing response to become more knowledgeable of the issue and impact sexual assault has on victims.

This year, as an approved practitioner of the Empower Youth Program, The Blue Bench is proud to bring this curriculum to Metro-Denver area teens. This has included programs at the Gilliam Youth Services Center and the Marvin W. Foote Youth Services Center. iEmpathize is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to combating crimes against children with a mission to evoke empathy and empower people to eradicate child exploitation. In 2015, the Prevention staff provided over 99 educational events to schools, prisons and other organizations reaching 1,533 people; provided 14 clinical presentations and professional trainings to 180 people; attended 48 special and community events reaching 5,668 people for a total of 161 events reaching 7,381 people.

Visit our Youth Engagement Program Kids Give Profile

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Evidence of Program's Success

The benefits of these programs are immense; clients report feeling empowered, safe, prepared and confident after our SET and APT classes, as well as stating an increase in self-esteem and in their ability to vocalize their feelings when confronted with an uncomfortable situation. Our Prevention Ed. curriculum proved highly successful in Sheridan- 83% of students who received the presentations went from scoring very poorly on an assessment of their awareness of sexual violence and their power to prevent it to scoring an 80% or higher. Female students reported higher self-esteem, and nearly all students pledged to take responsibility for recognizing and preventing sexual violence in their school and community.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.