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Health & Counseling Center

Health & Counseling Center

The Center for Advocacy, Prevention, and Empowerment (CAPE)

The Center for Advocacy, Prevention and Empowerment (CAPE), provides programs and resources to help promote healthy relationships, teach non-violence and equality and foster a respectful and safe environment for all members of the University of Denver community.

CAPE also supports survivor healing by providing advocacy and support for victims of sexual violence, stalking, sexual harassment and relationship violence. All services are confidential and free of charge.

Services Include:

  • A safe and confidential place to talk
    • During business hours, call 303-871-3853 to speak to the Director of CAPE
    • After business hours, advocates are available on-call through the CAPE Hotline to response to gender violence issues.  Call 303-871-3000 and ask to speak to the CAPE advocate on-call. 
  • Education about options for moving forward and resources available to help you do so
  • Education about safety planning, including how to get an order of protection (legal) or no-contact order (university)
  • Support and information about how to navigate the university, medical, criminal and/or legal systems
  • An advocate can accompany you to the hospital following an assault in order to receive a medical evaluation and/or for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exam (an exam used to collect evidence should you decide to pursue a criminal process).
  • Help reporting an incident to the Title IX Office (including having an advocate accompany you for the investigation)
  • Help reporting an incident to the Denver Police Department and other law enforcement offices (including having an advocate accompany you to the police department).
  • Assistance with arranging for academic accommodations following an incident
  • Trauma-related counseling and follow-up
  • Gender Resource Library
  • Prevention and educational programming
  • Outreach trainings
  • Skill building for healthy relationships

 Although gender violence is traditionally defined as violence against women, the definition has expanded to include any violence against women, men, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals. This type of violence can include physical, psychological or sexual abuse to the victims, including rape. Gender violence can take place in a personal relationship or in a public arena, between men and women, between the same genders, between partners or between strangers. Gender violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, class, age, appearance, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Gender violence can include:

Sexual Assault 

As defined in the University of Denver Honor Code, sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to any physical act that is sexual in nature and performed without the effective consent of all parties.

Sexual assault is any sexual activity, intrusion or penetration on a victim, against the victim's will, whether this involves vaginal, anal, or oral sexual acts. If the victim says "no" and the perpetrator commits sexual intrusion or penetration, that is against the victim's will, or non-consensual.

Simply stated, if one person does not want this sexual activity to be happening, the other person is committing sexual assault.

Consent must be:

  • Mutual
  • Agreed upon while sober (no drugs or alcohol involved)
  • Without harassment or coercion

Not only does "no mean no," but in order to have mutual, consensual sex, both parties have to say yes. Don't assume your partner means yes, even if they haven't said no. Silence does not mean consent.

Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion. A person always retains the right to revoke consent at any point during an activity. 

Be sure that when you're about to engage in any type of sexual activity that you're both consenting to this activity. Ask if it's okay. Never assume.

Abusive Relationship 

Are you in an abusive relationship?

  • Are you being insulted? Teased constantly? Humiliated?
  • Are you afraid to disagree with you partner?
  • Do you feel isolated? Afraid to participate in family activities with your partner? Afraid to get together with friends when you're with your partner?
  • Are you being hit, shoved, kicked, grabbed, punched or choked?
  • Are you being forced to have sex?
  • Are you unable to have access to your own finances?

Domestic violence/dating violence/relationship violence is a pattern of abusive behavior by one partner to another that can include physical, emotional, sexual or economic abuse. It's all about control and power.

It can happen between two people who are just dating, those in a long-term relationship, or partners who have been together for years. Abusers may say they're acting out of love and concern, but what they're really doing is manipulating and controlling, exerting their power over their partners.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, it's not your fault. You can get support. You can get help.


Stalking is a type of harassment when one person is receiving unwanted attention by another person or group, two or more times, with threats towards the victim or causing fear in the victim. People stalk for different reasons, but whatever the reason, it is a crime.

How do you know if you're being stalked?

  • Someone is following you.
  • Someone shows up at your room, your apartment, your classroom, your workplace.
  • Someone gives you or leaves you unwanted gifts.
  • Someone is sending you unwanted texts or emails or messages through social media. These are all types of cyber-stalking.
  • Someone is threatening your loved ones or pets.

If you are receiving unwanted attention in any form from another person, you might be a stalking victim. You can get support. You can get help by contacting the CAPE Director at 303-871-3853.

Gender Violence Information for the LGBTQI Community

Sexual assault and intimate partner violence can happen to people of any race, class, age, appearance, gender identity, sexual orientation or other identities - to anyone. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals are subject to the full spectrum of sexual violence and are at higher risk for gender violence.  LGBTQI are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know than someone they don't know.

Like all survivors, LGBTQI survivors often feel self-blame, shame, fear, anger, and depression. They may also be led to question their sexuality, or how it is perceived by others, especially if the assault was perpetrated as a hate crime, directed against the survivor's sexual orientation or gender identity as perceived by the perpetrator.

There are many resources available to members of the LGBTQI communities who are victims of gender violence. We are here to help. Contact the CAPE Director at 303-871-3853. 

Our friends at Survivors Organizing for Liberation are a resource dedicated to building safety and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities for over 25 years.

For more information please contact the Director of CAPE, Dr. Gillian Kaag, at: 303-871-3853 (1-3853).  CAPE is located in Nelson Residence Hall Rooms 102, 103, and 124.