A Message from the Director

Dear Members,Supporters, and Friends,

Happy New Year! Violence Free Colorado staff is back in the office after well earned and much needed self-care time over the holiday season. We hope that you, our partner in anti-domestic violence work, took advantage of the opportunity to recharge as well.

This month we are winding up to truly move forward our Coalition in 2015! Staff is very excited as we prepare for new programming in the year ahead. For example, Kristiana Huitron, Rural Latina Outreach Project Manager, is about to launch at least two new Promotora project sites in Pitkin and Las Animas Counties in partnership with RESPONSE and Advocates Against Domestic Assault, two of our domestic violence program members. In conjunction, Kristiana organized a 40-hour Promotora training focused on Latino communities and responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.Click here for more information or to register.

Kristiana’s colleague on Violence Free Colorado’s Rural VAWA project, Jacque Morse, Rural Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Project Manager, will soon launch a fourth CCR project site in Alamosa, a collaborative effort with Tu Casa, also a Violence Free Colorado domestic violence program member. Jacque has plans to bring CCR training to a larger Colorado audience in 2014. Stay tuned for details!

Additionally, Pat Tessmer, Program Director, is working hard on the next two courses for Violence Free Colorado’s new Online Learning Center: Trauma-informed, Survivor-Centered Advocacyand The Impact of Domestic Violence on Children. Look for these courses in early 2015 and for at least 2-3 more courses to be added to the OLC this year.

Violence Free Colorado’s Trauma Informed Care (TIC) Technical Assistance Project, begins phase two with a focus on the intersection of trauma, substance abuse, and mental health in the context of DV. Beth Collins, Advocacy Director, will continue to lead the TIC Workgroup as they explore this topic and launch new Learning Circles using the related ‘Seeking Safety’ support group curriculum. An announcement about this opportunity will be made in late winter/early spring.

Amy Pohl, Communications and Membership Director, will launch Violence Free Colorado’s first blog this year because talking informally with the community about the issue is vital to our mission to inspire Colorado to end domestic violence! Click here for more information or to sign up as one of Violence Free Colorado’s first bloggers. Check back with us throughout the year for other communications resources she’s developing, including a toolkit for the media on domestic violence and a toolkit on working with the media for domestic violence and community partner organizations.

Lydia Waligorski, Public Policy Director, will embark upon her first state legislative session in her new role. She is eager to carry forward the Coalition’s 2015 public policy agenda: reframing the state’s response to domestic violence as a human rights issue while addressing related matters of data and fatality reviews on domestic violence. In preparation for the upcoming session, Lydia is revising Violence Free Colorado’s public policy action alert and update email list, so please contact her to update the domestic violence policy point person in your organization or to be added to this list.

As a whole, Violence Free Colorado staff is looking forward to engaging in fresh ways to build relationships with new and existing Membership, connecting them to the expertise of their colleagues, and providing opportunities for members to expand their knowledge and skills for addressing domestic violence. Some of the ways in which we will go about this are through our new member outreach initiative, topical brown bag discussion series, and our 4th annual Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference.

For my part, I am thrilled to be exploring potential future programs at Violence Free Colorado, such as a possible statewide domestic violence prevention campaign and potential pilot projects of a housing first model of shelter and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence. In general, it is an exciting time to lead our state’s domestic violence Coalition onward and upward!

2015 holds a lot of promise for enhancing intervention in and prevention of domestic violence in Colorado! Won’t you be a part of the solution by renewing your membership or becoming a new domestic violence program, community partner program or individual member of Violence Free Colorado?

I look forward to working with you in 2015!