domestic violence, Non-Profit Agency, Victim Service Agency

Go Orange this February!

 

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) and in 2018, everyone is wearing orange! The #Orange4Love challenge, or Wear Orange Day, is on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, and is part of the TDVAM campaign to raise awareness regarding an issue that 1 in 3 teens and young adults face. But what is teen dating violence? Do you know what the warning signs of dating violence can look like?

81% of parents believe teen dating violence isn’t an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue.

According to loveisrespect.org, teen dating violence occurs on a spectrum of healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships, and abusive relationships. Unhealthy relationships are characterized as being “based on attempts to control another person”, whereas abusive relationships are “based on an imbalance of power and control”. As with any abusive situation, abusive behavior is a means for the perpetrator to gain control over another person. These controling behaviors can be emotional, mental, financial, physical, or sexual, and include other patterns such as stalking, intimidation, and isolation. Most commonly, teens who had experienced dating violence reported physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuses. Put downs, jealousy, isolation from friends and family, and pressure over having sex are all abusive behaviors commonly associated with teen dating violence.

1.5 Million high school students admit to being hit or intentionally harmed by someone they are in a romantic relationship with.

Dating violence can have a serious impact on a survivor. Young adults who have experienced dating violence are at higher risk for eating disorders, unsafe or unhealthy sexual practices, substance abuse, and ongoing abuse in their adult relationships. On top of that, half (50%) of teens who experience dating violence attempt suicide, in comparison to young men (5.4%) and young women (12.5%) who have not been in an abusive dating relationship.

Education may be one of  the best tools to combat dating violence. When students, teachers, and parents are able to identify unhealthy and abusive patterns, better support can be given to those who are experiencing or have experienced dating violence. Agencies such as the Arkansas Valley Resource Center (AVRC) are available for students, teachers, parents, and community members alike who may have concerns for themselves or someone they know, as well as for group education regarding these issues.

If you are interested about learning more, or are in need of support for yourself, a friend or family member due to teen dating violence, reach out, speak up, and don’t forget to wear #Orange4Love!

Support through AVRC is available 24 hours a day!
415 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050
24 Hour Hotline: (719) 384-7764
TTY: (719) 384-1938
After Hours Colorado Relay dial 711 or 1-800-659-2656

AVRC is non-discriminatory agency regarding race, religion, color, gender, country of national origin, sexual orientation or economic condition.

Teen Dating Violence statistics and banner provided by loveisrespect.org.

domestic violence, Non-Profit Agency, Sexual Assualt, Victim Service Agency

AVRC Services Spotlight: Crisis Intervention

The Arkansas Valley Resource Center (AVRC) offers many different services to assist the victims of violent crime in Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties. Among these many invaluable services, AVRC offers 24-Hour Crisis Intervention support. Crisis Intervention is available to any survivors of violent crime, whether a crime has been reported to law enforcement or not; AVRC does not require that a client report their victimization to law enforcement in order for services to be received. Crisis Intervention support can be accessed in many ways, including calling AVRC’s 24-hour hotline number at (719) 384-7764, by walking in to the AVRC office, at 415 Colorado Ave., La Junta, during office hours, or by referral from a 3rd party agency, including, but not limited to, mental/physical health professionals, court staff, legal aid, and other local support agencies. While working with AVRC staff, safety is a top priority; AVRC will work with the client to meet the immediate needs they may have that puts their safety at risk.

All of AVRC’s services are voluntary. AVRC Staff will not force a victim to take any steps that they are not ready to take or feel are not in their best interest. AVRC Staff will do their best to provide the survivor with the resources and options that may best meet their needs, in order for them to make an informed decision about their next steps toward safety, self-sufficiency, and recovery.

If you, or someone you know, may be in need of Crisis Intervention support, or have any questions about AVRC’s services, please do not hesitate to come in to the AVRC Office, or to call AVRC’s 24-Hour Hotline #.

415 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050
(719) 384-7764
TTY: (719) 384-1938
After Hours Colorado Relay dial 711 or 1-800-659-2656

 

Non-Profit Agency, Sexual Assualt, Victim Service Agency

Sexual Abuse and the Culture of Silence

There has been a lot of recent discussion over the topic of sexual abuse, due in part to media attention being focused on what is occurring in Hollywood. Several women and men have come forward, sharing their experience with the “Culture of Silence”, wherein they were sexually abused, assaulted or harassed by someone in a possible position of authority or seniority over them; someone they knew, worked with, or worked for. Many have further indicated that this social dynamic is a secret, hidden in plain sight and that a lot of people know it has been going on, but rarely does anyone say or do anything about it. Sexual abuse has been treated as commonplace, and this all lends itself to an ongoing cycle of violence.

To stop the cycle, we must work to better understand the violence. Sexual abuse isn’t about sexual gratification. Violent abuse, in any form, is about obtaining power and control over someone. It is characterized as an exertion of one’s power over another, by force that can be physical, emotional, mental, financial, and/or sexual, giving the perpetrator a sense of control over their victim. These acts of sexual violence are done without consent from the victim, also as in instances when a victim is unable to understand or give consent. Consent, as defined by Colorado state law, means “cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act” (Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated § 18-3-401). Understand that without appropriate consent, any proceeding sexual act can be characterized as an act of violence.

7_Out_of_10_Rapes 122016

A method by which an offender may gain more power is when the offender can use their relationship with their victim to gain further, ongoing access and control; this is a common feature in the survivor stories from Hollywood. In 70% of cases of reported rape, the offender was someone known to the victim, including acquaintances, current or former partners, or family members. In a rural setting, a survivor may not feel safe to report due to a lack of anonymity of either both the victim or their attacker, as is typical to characterize small towns with “everybody knows everybody”. Another challenge rural victims can face is a lack of resources or little knowledge about the resources available. These factors, among others, contribute to rape being one of the most under-reported crimes; nearly 65% of rapes are not reported to law enforcement. Survivors of sexual violence can experience shame, self-blame, and guilt, and the fear of not being believed and a culture of victim-blaming only serves to strengthen the “Culture of Silence”.

Coming forward and telling your story is a deeply personal decision; recognize that you are not alone and that support is out there. If you, or someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence and is seeking support, whether a report to law enforcement has been made or not, agencies are available to help.
#MeToo

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673)
Arkansas Valley Resource Center, serving Bent, Crowley, and Otero Counties,
via 24 Hour Hotline at (719) 384-7764
.

Statistics provided by the Rape, Abuse, & Incent National Network (RAINN)
https://www.rainn.org/statistics

Non-Profit Agency, Victim Service Agency

Happy Anniversary to Arkansas Valley Resource Center’s Director!

This week marks the 27th Anniversary for our Executive Director, Sandra Leonard!  

Sandy began her work with the Women’s Resource Center by volunteering on the Board of Directors.  In 1990 she transitioned to becoming the new Executive Director.  Since then she has spent her time dedicated to helping victims of crime throughout the Arkansas Valley.  

When Sandy started her service with our agency we were called the Women’s Resource Center and only served female victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  Quickly, Sandy began working towards expanding the agencies services to include men and women, their children and victims of other crimes.  It took several years and a lot of perseverance but  in 1996 the Women’s Resource Center became Arkansas Valley Resource Center.  With that change we also began serving all victims of violent crime.

As many people know, rural areas tend to have many obstacles when it comes to accessing various resources.  With Sandy’s assistance, AVRC has always strove to collaborate with as many area agencies and businesses as possible in order to better assist our clients.  One of those innovative programs includes our Law Enforcement Advocacy Team.

In 1996, there were several statutes added at both State and Federal levels that require Law Enforcement Agencies to make Victim Advocates available to victims of violent crime.  Our rural area Law Enforcement agencies were going to struggle to find and apply for the funding to cover this requirement.  Sandy met with various Law Enforcement officials in our service area and together they were able to create a plan that benefited everyone.  This is how AVRC’s Law Enforcement Advocacy Team was created.  AVRC is able to dispatch Victim’s Advocates to all of the Law Enforcement Agencies in Bent, Crowley and Otero counties as requested to assist with any victims of violent crime.  AVRC was one of the first agencies to create this type of team.  Since then several other agencies have followed suit throughout the state of Colorado. 

During the last 27 years, Sandy has volunteered for various Boards and Committees both locally and statewide.  There are countless other areas in which she has assisted people in our area and ways she has kept our agency open.  Our staff, clients and community are fortunate that she continues to be a visionary for Arkansas Valley Resource Center.

Thank you for your dedicated service and congratulations for celebrating 27 years!

Thank You hands

 

Become a Volunteer

FAQ: Does AVRC utilize volunteers?

Arkansas Valley Resource Center relies on volunteers from the community to support its mission. We have multiple areas in which people can volunteer.  We can use help with fundraising, office tasks, Board of Directors and direct client services.

In order for our volunteers to provide direct client services they need to complete enough training to be able to protect the privilege and confidentiality of victim’s of crime.  Our training period consists of at least 60 hours but we do not require a specific time frame for that to be completed. We do hope anyone who invests the time in training would be willing to commit to a year of service, but this is negotiable with the needs of the volunteer in mind.

If this training requirement isn’t something you can commit to we still have other areas that we need assistance.  Contact our Volunteer Advocate at (719) 384-7764 to complete an application.

Sexual Assualt

Start by Believing

Teal RibbonDid you know that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month?  There are several ways that you can get involved to help bring awareness for those that have been affected by Sexual Assault.   Visit this link to find out how: http://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/saam/8-ways-get-involved-sexual-assault-awareness-month

A new campaign has begun in an attempt to end the cycle of silence.  Most victims of sexual assault or abuse confide in a friend or family member.  What if someone comes to you?  How will you respond?  Visit www.startbybelieving.org to learn more.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, know that you are not alone.  We can help!  No one should go through this pain alone.  Call our 24 hour hotline for confidential support (719) 384-7764.

2 out of 3 victims of sexual assaults go unreported.  Find more statistics at https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

Below are links to additional resources:

https://www.rainn.org/

http://www.nsvrc.org/

Teal Ribbon