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A look at domestic violence in Colorado
Photo courtesy: Latina Safehouse

By Joseph Rios

Colorado defines domestic violence as an act or threatened act of violence on a person and in order for it to be considered domestic violence the victim has to have been involved in an intimate relationship with the abuser. Violence between people in an in an intimate relationship is more common than violence between strangers.

Domestic violence also includes crimes such as a person damaging property or when a person commits an act of coercion (using force, threatening force, or intimidation to make an individual do something that individual has the right not to do).

Other examples of behavior that may qualify as domestic abuse include name calling, when an abuser threatens to hurt him or herself, threats against an individual’s children or animal and when an individual throws objects.

According to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCAV) one in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Domestic violence hotlines receive an average of about 15 calls every minute and intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crimes.

Over 16,000 people reported one or more domestic violence crimes in 2014 and 25 people in Colorado were killed by their current or former intimate partner in the same year. A point-in-time survey (a count on a particular day) of Colorado domestic violence programs suggests services were turned away to 163 people due to a lack of resources, according to NCAV.

Colorado has no shortage of safe houses for domestic violence victims including SafeHouse Denver. The organization strives to intervene in abusive situations in order to empower adults and children to live free from domestic violence. It also provides education on domestic violence and it serves over 250 women and children yearly.

SafeHouse Denver even hosted a round-table discussion on domestic violence with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014 on the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Woman Act.

Another source, the Latina Safehouse (LSH) was founded in 2003 by Sr. Alicia Cuaron and other Latina leaders to support victims of domestic violence across the Denver Metro area with culturally and linguistically responsive behavioral health counseling, self-sufficiency, advocacy, and legal services. Initially LSH was staffed completely by volunteers providing direct services and fundraising to help sustain the organization.

For volunteer opportunities contact their office at 303-433-4470 or via email at

Another shelter that provides services to adults and children is Crossroads Safehouse in Fort Collins. The organization provides free legal assistance, education, housing, food and clothing. Crossroads Safehouse provides support for over 500 residents. It offers a number of services like advocacy and support groups that help adults and youth through group therapy and family therapy. Crossroads SafeHouse also has a youth program that helps children and teens with their self-esteem, communication skills and it also provides services to help with aggressive behavior.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the goal is to provide awareness of the subject and to provide information about options available to victims.





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