Calls for sexual assault advocates in Denver soar in November


DENVER (KDVR) – As of October, The Blue Bench, an advocacy group for sexual assault survivors, said calls for support in Denver have reached unprecedented levels.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, there is help.

“Survivors and their loved ones can receive support in a number of ways. Most people start by calling our hotline, ”said Megan Carvajal, Executive Director of Blue Bench.

According to Carvajal, calls to The Blue Bench’s hotline reached an all-time high last month.

“In November, we saw a 78% increase over our normal monthly call volume,” Carvajal said. This represents a total number of calls exceeding 300 for the month of November.

The demands for medical care at hospitals in the region have also increased.

“We are seeing an increase of over 100% over the average number of requests,” Carvajal said. The increase has led to more than 50 appeals for survivor support at area hospitals.

Experiences related to the holiday season are attributed as a possible cause.

“If it was during the holidays or if it was people related to this trauma, this emotional work is intense,” she said.

Carvajal added that you can be the first person to help someone in this situation: “Intervene safely, starting a conversation so the victim can walk away. “

Also, a reminder that if you are going to help someone, don’t be afraid to get help for yourself.

“When we have a family member or friend who has been sexually assaulted, we ourselves experience trauma,” she said.

The high number of calls has put the therapy services that The Blue Bench can offer behind schedule.

“We’re on a six to eight week waiting list,” Carvajal said. “It’s because the demand is higher than what we are prepared to handle.”

To donate or request help for yourself or a loved one, contact The Blue Bench online.

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