The Blue Bench (formerly RAAP) is metropolitan Denver’s only comprehensive sexual assault support and prevention center. Since our founding in 1983 we’ve worked tirelessly to eliminate sexual assault and diminish the impact it has on individuals, their loved ones and our community, collectively serving more than 423,000 individuals. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of quality victim services, The Blue Bench is a leader in educating the public about preventing sexual violence.
The Blue Bench's mission is to work towards the elimination of sexual violence, and our primary goals are to assist victims and educate the public about sexual violence and its prevention.
As an organization and a leader in the movement against sexual violence, we believe:
- Victims of sexual assault are NEVER responsible for the crime.
- Everyone has the responsibility to behave non-violently.
- Every person has the right to defend her/himself from sexual assault.
- Sexual assault is an abusive act of power and control.
- Perpetrators of sexual violence are responsible for their behavior.
- Those who abuse others generally have more real or perceived power then those who are abused, whether it is economic, physical, or status awarded on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or physical ableness.
- Male and female gender roles are socially constructed and these roles contribute to the problem of violence in our society.
- Sexual assault contributes to everyone being less trustful, less honest, and less spontaneous with each other and the capacity for intimacy both emotional and sexual is diminished by the presence of sexual violence in our lives. The cost for both men and women is immense.
- The majority of men do not rape nor do they support such behaviors.
- Violence is an ingrained societal problem, the solution to which is a large-scale change in our social fabric.
- Attitudes of entitlement to sex under certain circumstances contribute to an environment where sexually assaultive behavior occurs. Aspects of popular media, in particular, transform people into objects making sexually assaultive behaviors more acceptable.
- We believe that all violence represents a cycle in our society that must be broken by education, intervention and support.
- Sexual violence can be prevented through the education of potential perpetrators, bystanders and victims.