Advocate Safehouse offers support for the abused
High Country RSVP
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
It usually does not start with a punch, a slap or even abusive language. It just seems to creep up slowly.
When you dated, you found his possessiveness proof that he loved you. When you married, you created excuses and explanations for why he did not like your friends, did not want you to go out without him, wanted complete control of the money and always wanted to know where you were and who was with you.
The first time he pushed you, he was so sorry afterwards. He brought you flowers, he asked your forgiveness and said it would not happen again. Everything would be fine for a while.
Then the tension would build and you would feel it coming on. He would belittle and threaten you; mock you in front of the children. You would try to hide the bruises, but your family and friends knew and wondered why you stayed in such an unhealthy relationship.
A worried friend tells you that she once struggled to get out of such a relationship and gives you the phone number of the 24-hour Advocate Safehouse Project’s help line.
The 24-hour help line offers crisis intervention, emotional support, information and referrals to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The help line, manned by trained volunteer advocates and supported by Safehouse staff, is just one of many confidential, bilingual services of the Advocate Safehouse Project.
The Advocate Safehouse Project had its origins in the 1980s when concerned citizens accepted domestic violence as a community problem and wanted to develop comprehensive services for survivors and their children.
Incorporated in 1987, the Safehouse set up the 24-hour help line, developed safe homes and women’s support groups. In 1991, the agency expanded helpline services to include survivors of sexual assault. In 1993, they purchased and rehabilitated a safe house.
Each client comes with his or her unique story.
“It takes courage to take the first step and call us,” explains Julie Olson, executive director.
Her staff is trained to provide bilingual and culturally sensitive services. Some clients are at ease accepting referrals to collateral agencies.
For example, a client proficient in English and familiar with our legal system may call and easily follow through with a referral to Alpine Legal Services for assistance with obtaining a protective order.
However, a Spanish speaker often has different needs, addressed by the Safehouse’s Latina Outreach Program. This program offers crisis intervention, case management, supportive counseling, and translators who take clients to appointments and help them understand and navigate the services of agencies that interrelate around the issue of domestic or sexual violence.
Although they do not receive a great deal of media attention and their numbers are fewer, men as well as women may be victims of domestic abuse. They may be more reticent and embarrassed to call, but services are available to men as well as women.
The Advocate Safehouse Project envisions a world free from domestic violence. To that end, their programs offer more than crisis intervention.
Learning about relationships develops in childhood through modeling and teaching. Children who understand that healthy relationships require listening and sharing, mutual decision making, respect and honoring individuality, trust and honesty are less likely to engage in violence to meet their needs. The Project’s Community Awareness and Education Program offers community presentations aimed at building these healthy relationships.
The Mother’s Day Mile is one of the Advocate Safehouse Project’s major fundraising event. It’s set for Sunday, May 8, with opening ceremonies beginning at 1 p.m.
All participants receive a goodie bag, a finish line rose, homemade pie, and a chance to win age group awards. A Gift Basket Silent Auction will be held under the big tent.
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