How 25 push-ups a day can change our community


By Ashley Wilson

Rise Above Violence

The seventh annual Push-Up Challenge is a month-long, virtual fitness challenge hosted by Rise Above Violence. The challenge: 25 push-ups for each day in April, 750 for the whole month — miss a day, make it up. It’s a fun, friendly competition to push up victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Archuleta County.

How do push-ups make a difference? Commit to 25 push-ups, one push-up each day for the number of years Rise has been serving our community. You could commit to 50 push-ups a day to represent the 55 victims of sexual assault that Rise served in 2020; or 75 a day because every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. As you do your push-ups and share your journey, you help raise awareness and much-needed funds to support victims and survivors of sexual assault in our community. How many push-ups can we do together to support victims and survivors?

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month; it is an opportunity every year to bring up a hard topic and for our community to come together. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (, nearly one in five women and one in 71 men have been raped at some time in their lives. 

“In Colorado, the lifetime prevalence of sexual violence by any perpetrator for women is 23.8 percent, which is higher than the national prevalence of 18.3 percent,” according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

As a community, awareness is the first step toward ending sexual violence in Pagosa. Survivors often do not come forward due to shame and the expectation that they will not be believed. We can make a difference. Believe survivors. Challenge rape culture by calling out the bad jokes, choosing your media intake and having zero tolerance. Stop victim-blaming statements like, “What were you wearing?” Get involved.

Ways you can get involved this month: Join the push-up challenge, share our social media posts, join us on Facebook live April 22 for Coffee Talk, come out on April 28 for our Denim Day Walk and/or volunteer. For more information on all of these events, please visit

We begin by ending the silence.

Rise Above Violence is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving over 300 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit for more information or call 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.