ESTES VALLEY VICTIM ADVOCATES’ PROGRAMS
The Victim Advocate is an immediate and practical assistant. Advocates attend 30 hours of training which includes domestic violence, sexual assault, death and suicide, and crisis intervention skills. An advocate is someone you can talk to in complete confidence. They have real information on victim’s rights, useful information on police and court procedures and down-to-earth advice about victim’s compensation. They can also help ensure safety by creating a personal safety plan and securing a safe place to stay. Advocates understand what it is like to be a victim of crime or trauma and provide gentle and caring emotional support.
Counselors are available to provide individual counseling and support groups to assist victims in recovering from the trauma of an incident. We understand that once you have been a victim, you are never exactly the same. Estes Valley Victim Advocates believe that victims have basic human needs that have to be addressed. They need the opportunity to tell their story, to be protected from further violation, to have support and to have their psychological needs addressed. Our counselors address these psychological needs and assist victims on their journey from being victims to becoming survivors.
My Sister’s Place is a 3-bedroom facility and program focusing on non-violent living that provides safety in a confidential location. Weekly counseling and advocacy sessions are available for women and their children while staying at the safehouse. My Sister’s Place is a sunny, pleasant space with private bedrooms, a playroom, a kitchen, and other common rooms. Women and their children can stay there for as long as six weeks. The Safehouse Manager focuses on self-sufficiency, assisting women in finding childcare, housing, and jobs with the goal of taking their place in the community.
Being a victim of a crime and not being able to speak English makes the victimization that much more frightening. “What’s going to happen to the offender?” “What do I have to do next?” “What about my kids? ” These are questions many victims grapple with. But when you are not able to speak the language, to whom do you turn? Estes Valley Victim Advocates has a Spanish-speaking Outreach Coordinator to assist the Latino population in our community who find themselves in need because they are victims of crime or trauma.
COMMUNITY EDUCATION & OUTREACH
While we spend most of our efforts aiding the recovery of victims who have experienced abuse or trauma, we are just as committed to preventing it altogether. In fact, our hope is that someday there will no longer be a need for our services. This year we gave community presentations that reached over 200 people. We were also excited to be invited to work with kids in the middle school for the first time.
Year in Review:
- In 2013, Estes Valley Victim Advocates served 301 victims. This included advocate calls, counseling and support group clients, with a total of 656 contacts (not including safehouse residents). These clients were victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, assault, survivors of unattended death, suicide, other crimes and trauma.
- In 2013, we housed 16 women and 10 children providing 673 bed nights. Those residents received 586 sessions of counseling and advocacy focusing on safety planning and learning to live self-sufficient and violence free lives.
- In 2013, 200 adults attended educational presentation. 18 classes were held for 39 students in grades 6-that focused on caring relationships, dating abuse, why abuse happens, how to help friends in abusive situations and how to prevent dating abuse.
- In 2013, our bilingual advocate met with 49 Spanish-speaking outreach women.
In 2013 Estes Valley Victim Advocates was funded through the Town of Estes Park, Larimer County Victim Assistance and Law Enforcement Board, Colorado Domestic Violence Program, Federal Victims of Crime Act, United Way of Larimer County, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado (Estes Park), Estes Park Quota Club, Estes Park Lion’s Club, Estes Valley Community Thrift Shop, Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, United Methodist Church of Estes Park, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, family foundations, individual gifts and fundraisers. Estes Valley Victim Advocates served and was supported by Estes Park Medical Center and Rocky Mountain National Park.
This year, Estes Valley Victim Advocates had to cancel its Affordably Chic Fashion Show due to the flood. However, $18,000 was raised at the end of the year from our annual appeal letter. A portion of fees collected from Colorado marriage license and divorce filings were directed towards programs like ours. We are grateful for the individual donors and social organizations for their many gifts in 2013.
$32,000 is being held in the Estes Valley Victim Advocates’ Endowment Fund managed through the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado. It is our hope that one day it will create funding that we can access annually.
Estes Valley Victim Advocates is a member of Estes Valley Community Services Coalition, Estes Park Child Protection Team, Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, Larimer County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Colorado Nonprofit Association and Estes Park Nonprofit Resources.