The 16th annual Canine Classic 5k Run/Walk directly benefits a Boulder, Colorado, non-profit, Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA). Proceeds from the event help fund MESA?s many crucial programs in Boulder and Broomfield counties, including the Moving to End Sexual Assault 24-Hour Hotline; sexual assault survivors' support, advocacy, and counseling;
and community prevention and education.
The story of Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) is one of versatility, perseverance, and selflessness. It is a story of women and men working together to face a human injustice which had, before, been too powerful, too shameful, and too controversial to even utter its name - rape. It is a story of ongoing struggles, often-thankless tasks, and inexcusable pain and victimization. It is also a story of unbelievable strength, courage, empowerment, and love. Because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers, this organization has consistently met the changing needs of Boulder and Broomfield county residents during the last four decades.
In 1972, two 11 year-old girls were abducted and brutally raped in Boulder County. One was killed; the other survived. Outraged citizens organized a series of town meetings, which addressed the issues of rape and women’s safety. From these meetings, a group of women and men formed a network called Humans Against Rape and Molestation (referred to as H.A.R.M.). This network, later becoming the Boulder County Rape Crisis Team, was one of the first four rape crisis organizations ever established in the United States.
In early 1973, H.A.R.M. joined efforts with members of the National Organization for Women and the Mental Health Center of Boulder County to create the Boulder County Rape Crisis Team. The Team was Boulder’s first rape response and victim advocacy program. Within a few months, members had trained over 30 volunteers, and formed a hotline. The Team also became a program at the Mental Health Center of Boulder County, an association MESA is still proud to maintain.
Throughout MESA’s ever-changing history, services to our clients have remained constant. Volunteers have always staffed a 24-hour hotline. They have also provided over 40 years of victim advocacy, volunteer training, and community education to over 35,000 survivors. Their efforts, together with support and resources from the Mental Health Partners, have contributed to the recovery of thousands of rape survivors in Boulder and Broomfield counties.
On March 1, 2001, The Boulder County Rape Crisis Team changed its name to MESA - Moving to End Sexual Assault. The name was changed primarily to broaden the public’s perception of the actual services that are provided, such as community prevention education. The name MESA connotes an active approach toward the elimination of sexual assault, with education being an essential process in such an outcome.
We believe that every person has the right to live free of sexual assault.
We are moving to end sexual assault and the suffering it causes in our community.
We challenge all forms of oppression and recognize their connection to sexual violence.