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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The Colorado Revised Statute identifies domestic violence as: an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved with in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence includes any other crime against a person or property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when it is used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge, directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship (C.R.S. 18-6-800.3 (1)).
It is important to understand the nature of domestic violence behavior and why it is a crime, even before law enforcement gets involved. If an individual commits a crime of violence or property damage against a co-worker, neighbor, or stranger, they are held accountable for their behavior when the crime is reported to law enforcement; as a society, we expect this behavior to be dealt with accordingly. As it is not permissible to treat a stranger with violence, it is even more important to understand similar behavior directed at a loved one or a past or present intimate partner is also criminal. Individuals committing this crime do not get a pass when the violence is directed at a spouse or an intimate partner; nor should they blame their victim for poor choices and behavior that cause their arrest.
In many states, including Colorado, if an officer believes the crime of intimate partner violence has occurred, there is a mandatory arrest. This means that if a law enforcement officer believes there is probable cause (a reasonable person's belief) that a crime of domestic violence has occurred, the predominant aggressor shall be arrested; the victim is not required “to press charges" or “ask” for the abuser to be arrested.
Domestic violence includes many types of physical and non-physical abuse. Many times, when a victim reports the type of abuse that happened, one of the injuries reported is being “choked” by their abuser. Choking is what you do on a beverage, a piece of food, or your own saliva. The crime that has happened is Strangulation.
Strangulation is defined as: with the intent to cause bodily injury, he or she impedes or restricts the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes bodily injury. This is a serious crime, as the injury can cause internal swelling which can interfere with breathing and swallowing and can even result in strokes weeks, months, or even years later.
Information explaining domestic violence and resources for individuals seeking help while in an abusive relationship is available. These resources are available to provide victims, friends, and family members with education and referrals for early intervention.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 303-839-1852, http://www.ncadv.org/
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Non-Violence (SPAN) Boulder 303-444-2424 or (Lafayette) 303-673-9000 or http://www.safehousealliance.org/
Women in Crisis/Family Tree (Wheatridge), 303-430-6752, http://www.thefamilytree.org/en/domestic-violence-services/106
Gateway Battered Women’s Services (Aurora), 303-343-1851 or http://www.gatewayshelter.org/
The Initiative formerly known as Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities (Denver) 303-839-5510, http://www.dviforwomen.org/
DOVE (Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment: 303-831-7874 or http://www.deafdove.org/
Safehouse Denver, 303-318-9989, http://safehouse-denver.org/
Crossroads Safehouse (Ft. Collins) (970) 482-3502 http://www.crossroadssafehouse.org/
Boulder Men's Center 303-444-8064
Safe Shelter of St, Vrain Valley (Longmont) 303-772-4422, http://www.safeshelterofstvrain.org/
Colorado Coalition against Domestic Violence 303-831-9632, or http://ccadv.org/
“One Love, My Plan” offers education, resources, and referrals about dating violence through a downloadable app for your phone: https://www.joinonelove.org/ or https://www.joinonelove.org/get-help/#myplan
Crisis Intervention & Follow-Up
Advocates can assist in sorting through the confusing feelings victims may experience immediately following a crime or traumatic event, as well as later on. Advocates can help a victim manage one part of the problem at a time and regain control.
Resources and Referrals
Advocates use community resources, as well as the victim's own resources, to help build a network of support. Many resources are available in the community, including, but not limited to: financial assistance, victim compensation funds; counseling; legal resources; medical resources; transportation; household assistance; child care; assistance in dealing with creditors, employers, and landlords; services for victims with special needs; and translation services.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a crime and need assistance, please call the Victim Services Unit.
ICE Victim Notification Program
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is committed to protecting the public and ensuring that the rights of victims are carefully observed. HSI administers the Victim Notification Program, which allows eligible victims and witnesses to obtain reliable and timely information regarding a criminal alien's release from custody. Victims and witnesses are required to register with HSI in order to receive notification of a criminal alien's release. Please visit http://www.ice.gov/victim-notification/ for more information.
You may also call the Broomfield Police Department Victim Services Unit at 303.438.6429 or 303.438.6471 for additional information.
Colorado Adult Sexual Assault Reporting Options
A victim chooses to obtain a medical forensic exam but at that time chooses to not participate in the criminal justice system. Evidence and information to law enforcement is released without victim identifying information. An anonymous reporting victim is consenting to evidence storage only.