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Each year, more than 10 million women and men are the victims of domestic abuse in the United States. An average of 20 acts of domestic abuse occurs every minute in this country. With October designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it may be good to consider the trauma of those survivors of domestic assault, and the role society can play in being aware of the dangers, and the help survivors need to move on with their lives.

There are many myths about domestic violence that get in the way of society facing it. Here are three:

Myth: It’s just a domestic dispute. In fact: it’s actually a deadly crime.

Myth: Domestic violence doesn’t happen in my neighborhood. In fact: domestic violence happens in all communities, at all income and education levels, with victims and perpetrators representing a diverse cross-section of society.

Myth: Only physical violence counts as domestic violence. Fact: domestic violence includes several kinds of abuse. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial, digital, and stalking. ​

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • 32.7 percent of Colorado women and 28.6 percent of Colorado men experience intimate partner violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
  • 16,700 people reported one or more domestic violence crimes to law enforcement
  • Approximately 325,000 Coloradans have experienced stalking
  • 25 Coloradans were murdered by current or former intimate partners
  • 1,018 Coloradans were abducted by current or former intimate partners
  • 78 percent of domestic violence victim programs provide services to approximately 904 victims per day​​​

 

The lights outlining the S on Tenderfoot Mountain were changed to purple in 2019 in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A member of The Alliance suggested the change, an anonymous donor paid for the purple bulbs, and volunteers made the switch.

“They are often feeling incredibly overwhelmed, says therapist Kristy Pauls about her first meeting with survivors of domestic assault. Most have just left a partner after enduring years of abuse. They are often searching for a new place to live, a job and childcare. But, most pressingly, they are dealing with trauma.

“In most cases, they are coping not only with the trauma from their abusive partner, but historical trauma from being abused as a child, a previous rape, sexual assault or physical assault,” said Pauls. The goal, she explains is to acknowledge the experience and lose the pain.

“If you can lose those negative emotions and sensations, you can reframe your experiences. You’re always going to know who the abuser was and what their role was in your life. But you can let go of the pain attached to those memories,” says Pauls.

 

Regional Support services for victims of domestic violence:

The Alliance, of Salida, Buena Vista and Poncha Springs

This group provides advocacy to adult and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and sexual abuse assistance in Chaffee and Western Fremont Counties.

It maintains a 24-hour crisis line (719) -539-7347  and staffs a website: https://alliancechaffee.org
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Advocates of Lake County
This social services organization is based in Leadville in the Tabor Grand Hotel Apartments · It is open 24 hours a day and the 24-hour crisis line is 719-486-3530 and the website address is: advocatesoflakecounty.org

Family Crisis Services Inc
Calling itself a “domestic abuse treatment center, this resource is located at 3228 Independence Rd, Cañon City, CO.
Their crisis line is 719-275-2429