crime victims rights, domestic violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Victim Service Agency, Violent Crime

Strangulation: Lethality at 750%

When it comes to physical abuse, there are few actions, on their own, that are as lethal as the act of strangulation. Strangulation is most commonly associated with or referred to as “choking”, but they are both very different. Choking is caused by a foreign body obstructing the airway, such as with food or a small object. Strangulation, on the other hand, is the obstruction of blood vessels and/or air passages in the neck, resulting in asphyxia, by way of external force. In other words, “choking” is usually an accidental occurrence; strangulation is the deliberate act meant to terrorize.

abusers strangle

Per Colorado law, specifically CRS 18-3-203(i), strangulation is an act of assault in the 2nd degree defined as:
A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if, with intent to cause bodily injury, he or she applies sufficient pressure to impede or restrict breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes bodily injury.
Colorado is among 48 states, 20 tribes, and 2 U.S. Territories that have felony strangulation laws on the books. There are also federal and military codes regarding strangulation.

But why is strangulation so serious, you may ask?

Strangulation is often referred to as an act that takes victims to “the edge of homicide”. The act of non-fatal strangulation increases the risk of homicide that the victim faces by 750%; the victim is nearly 8 times more likely to end up dead at the hands of their abuser after strangulation occurred. What’s worse, a victim may survive the immediate incident(s) of strangulation, but could die from their injuries or related complications days, weeks, or even years later. Going even beyond the lethality faced by the original strangulation vicitm, there are studies that have linked perpetrators with a history of domestic violence, including and particularly strangulation, to being more likely to murder law enforcement officers and be mass shooters. Such perpetrators include the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, who had previously committed the act of strangulation on multiple partners.

Strangulation takes 5-10 seconds to render the victim unconscious, and 4-5 minutes to cause brain death. This is due to asphyxiation, which is the process of being deprived oxygen. It takes 4 pounds of pressure to block the jugular vein, preventing deoxygenated blood from leaving the brain; it takes 6 pounds of pressure to pull the trigger of a gun. It takes 11 pounds of pressure to block the carotid artery, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the brain; it takes 20 pounds of pressure to open a can of soda. It takes 33 pounds of pressure to block the trachea, which restricts breathing; the average handshake applies about 80-100 pounds of pressure.

A struggle that strangulation victims can face is that immediate injuries from such an attack are not always apparent. Only in half of all reported cases do victims have visible signs of strangulation, and only 15% of that may be photographed. Signs and symptoms of strangulation can be both internal and external. Examples of external signs (injuries that can be observed by the victim, law enforcement, or a medical professional) can include:

  • petechiae (little red dots) on the eyeball, eyelid, face, scalp, and ears,
  • bruising around the neck, mouth, and chest or behind the ears,
  • swollen tongue or face,
  • defensive scratches (from where the victim was trying to remove their batterer’s hands from around their neck or face), and
  • stroke-like facial or eyelid drooping.

Symptoms (things that may not always be outwardly observed, but can be described by the victim) can include:

  • difficulty swallowing,
  • loss of memory,
  • nausea, 
  • extremity weakness, 
  • difficulty breathing, and
  • loss of sensation.

Strangulation-784x960

It is important to document the signs and symptoms you experience as they occur, and to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you do not notice any signs or symptoms immediately. It can sometimes take hours or days for these signs and symptoms to manifest, and some signs and symptoms may be difficult for a victim to see or recognize without a medical professional’s assistance.

If you have been strangled, or are aware of a friend or loved one who has been strangled, support and education are critical! Contact AVRC Staff 24/7 for more information and support.

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

 

Statistics and information regarding strangulation provided by:
The Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention

 

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

 

crime victims rights, domestic violence, Human Trafficking, Intimate Partner Violence, Non-Profit Agency, Sexual Assualt, Stalking, Victim Rights Act, Victim Service Agency, Victim Service Provider, Violent Crime

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week 2019

In 1992, Colorado joined four other states (Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, and New Mexico) in adding a crime victims’s rights amendment to the state constitution.  In looking at the history of the crime victims’ rights movement and Honoring the Past, we may change the face of the landscape and work toward Creating Hope for the Future.  

On April 22nd, 1991, the President of the United States announced Proclamation 6275, declaring the week of April 21st through April 27th National Crime Victim’s Rights Week. In this proclamation, the President urged “all Americans to join in honoring those who work in behalf of crime victims and their families”. At the start of this same week, Colorado legislators presented an amendment for the Colorado constitution to include victims’ rights, which was collectively passed by both state Houses. The bill for the amendment was placed on the ballot for 1992, and passed by voters on November 3rd that year. This established the Colorado Crime Victims’ Rights Act, which went into effect as of January 14th, 1993.

The Colorado Crime Victims’ Rights Act (VRA)  amendment states:

Any person who is a victim of a criminal act or such person’s designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members if such person is deceased, shall have the right to be heard when relevant, informed and present at all critical stages of the criminal justice process. All terminology, including the term “critical stages” shall be defined by the general assembly (Article II, Section l6A Colorado State Constitution).

Further, the amendment specifies which crimes fall under the Colorado VRA, including domestic violence, sexual assault, murder, and robbery. (for a full list of the VRA covered crimes, click here). Under the Colorado VRA, victims are granted the following core rights:

  • To be treated with fairness, respect, and dignity;
  • To be informed of all “critical stages” of the criminal justice process (victims must request notification, in writing, for post-sentencing critical stages); and,
  • To be present and heard at specified critical stages in the criminal justice process.

Per the VRA, specific agencies within the criminal justice system, such as law enforcement, the district attorney’s office, and probation, are charged with various responsibilities to the victims of crime, relevant to the stages of the victim’s case. If these rights are not upheld, a victim may choose to file a complaint to the Colorado Department of Criminal Justice. In upholding the VRA, identifying gaps in protections, and working within the community to improve services for victims of violent crime, we can create hope to improve the future for victim’s of violent crime across the country, and across the world.

If you or someone you know may be a victim of violent crime, or is interested in learning more about the Colorado Crime Victims’ Rights Act, feel free to contact AVRC!

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

 

Information and quote on Proclamation 6275 provided by https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-105/pdf/STATUTE-105-Pg2522.pdf

Video and National VRA history provided by https://ovc.ncjrs.gov/ncvrw2019/

Colorado VRA history and information provided by https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dcj/victim-rights

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

Job Opportunity, Non-Profit Agency, Victim Service Agency, Victim Service Provider, Violent Crime

AVRC is Now Hiring!

The Arkansas Valley Resource Center (AVRC) is looking for someone to join their team, specifically in the position of Crisis Worker. AVRC is seeking candidates with the following qualifications:

  • High school Graduate or GED
  • Bilingual skills a plus
  • Be able to pass background check, drug test and e-verify
  • Have a reliable vehicle
  • Good work ethic
  • Desire to serve crime victims
  • Positive references
  • Have skills in Microsoft Office applications
  • Willingness to work on-call

On the job training is provided, and this is a full time salaried position with benefits.

If you are interested, send your resume to:
Arkansas Valley Resource Center 
P.O. Box 716
La Junta, Colorado 81050.
OR
Apply online using ZipRecruiter.com or Indeed.com

 

Please, no walk-ins or phone calls.
Applications need to be received by the deadline of April 30th, 2019.
AVRC is an equal opportunity employer.

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

crime victims rights, domestic violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Non-Profit Agency, Stalking, Victim Service Agency, Violent Crime

Emotional Abuse: Bruises on the Heart & Mind

What is normal when you are dating?

Wanting to have sex with your dating partner? Yup.

Texting each other throughout the day? Totally.

Hanging out? Sure.

But at what point do these behaviors cross the line to become abusive?

Being pressured into having sex with your partner when you aren’t ready to take that step? Emotional abuse.

Constantly having to text your partner to “check in” or getting punished for not answering a text quickly enough? Emotional abuse.

Being forced to spend all your time with your partner, at the expense of your relationships with friends and family or activities you enjoy? Emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse is abuse.

It doesn’t leave outward scars, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause serious damage to a survivor’s mental and emotional well-being. Often, it is one of the key warning signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Emotional abuse can take on many forms, including jealousy or possessiveness, isolation from friends and family, stalking, threats of suicide or harm to someone you care about, name calling and put-downs, and digital abuse. What’s worse, is that when emotional abuses happen, they can take a toll on a survivor’s self esteem, mental health, and physical health. When an abuser keeps telling their partner that they are “ugly”, “worthless”, “dumb”, “untrustworthy”, and “crazy”, the partner may start to believe the abuser, making it that much harder to end the relationship. Because it comes in so many forms, it can be easy to miss, or dismiss as normal. But emotional abuse is not normal.

Emotional abuse is abuse.

Let’s run through some scenarios of emotional abuse in dating relationships.

Dave and Jessica have been dating for a while. More and more, Dave is pressuring Jessicadownload (1) into having sex with him and sending him nudes. Jessica doesn’t feel ready to have sex, but she does send Dave some pictures of herself in her underwear. Dave keeps saying, “If you love me, you will have sex with me.” Jessica decides she isn’t comfortable with the pressure Dave is putting her under and tries to break up with him. Dave threatens to kill himself if Jessica breaks up with him. Jessica apologizes and says she won’t break up with him. Eventually Dave breaks up with Jessica because she won’t have sex with him. After they break up, Dave posts the pictures Jessica sent him online, calling Jessica a slut and whore.

What types of emotional abuse happened in Dave and Jessica’s relationship? Dave was pressuring Jessica into doing something she wasn’t comfortable with and then tried to manipulate her into doing it to “prove” she loved him. When Jessica tried to end the relationship, Dave made threats of self-harm to control Jessica into staying with him. When Dave broke up with Jessica, he posted private pictures online and called her names. Dave’s abusive behaviors included emotional manipulation, threats, verbal abuse, sexual abuse and digital abuse.

Let’s look at another scenario.

downloadCally and Luis mostly communicate via text throughout the week. Luis tutors after school to earn some extra money, so he can go spend time with Cally on the weekends. Cally told Luis she has been cheated on before, so she has a hard time trusting her boyfriends. Cally tells Luis to give Cally his social media passwords to make sure he isn’t talking to other girls, saying “It shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t have anything to hide from me.” Luis knows he isn’t cheating on Cally, so he gives her his passwords so she will trust him. One day, Luis is tutoring a girl who tags him in a picture of them together on Facebook. Luis silences his phone while he is working, so when he does go to check his phone after work, Luis finds 37 missed calls and 107 texts from Cally that she sent during the hour Luis was tutoring. Many of the texts accuse Luis of sleeping with the other girl and says Luis is an “asshole just like all of my other exes”. When Luis gets a hold of Cally, she demands that Luis not tutor the other girl anymore. Eventually Cally starts telling Luis to quit his tutoring job, because Cally can’t trust him, even though Luis has repeatedly told Cally he hasn’t cheated on her and never will.

Cally made excuses for her behavior right from the start, blaming her behavior on her past relationships. Cally insisted she be allowed access to Luis’s social media accounts to prove Luis isn’t cheating. When Luis didn’t immediately respond to Cally’s calls and texts while he was working, she blew up his phone with excessive contacts in a short period of time. Cally called Luis names, accused him of cheating on her, and demanded he stop tutoring other girls, ultimately leading to her telling him to quit his job. Cally made false accusations, displayed extreme jealousy, and was digitally, verbally, and financially abusive to Luis.

Let’s look at one more scenario.

James and Sarah started dating over summer break. When they go back to school in the fall, Sarah starts playing volleyball and isn’t seeing James as often. After school, Sarah usually spends time with her friends. When she does see James, he asks her to spend imagesmore time with him and accuses Sarah of not putting their relationship first. James tells Sarah to quit volleyball so they could be together more. James and Sarah start fighting a lot, and James always ends up yelling and calling Sarah selfish. After their fights James always says, “I hate when we fight, but you just make me so mad! That is why I yell at you.” Sarah agrees to quit volleyball, even though she really enjoys it. James starts showing up where Sarah is hanging out with her friends, even though she didn’t tell him where they would be or invite him. James also starts repeatedly calling Sarah’s house late at night and hanging up, and leaving little gifts in her car, which makes Sarah uncomfortable. Sarah breaks up with James, but he continues to show up at the places she is at and leaving little gifts in her car, even though she had asked him to stop.

James tried to insinuate that Sarah was selfish and not putting their relationship first, forcing her into quitting something she enjoys doing. James also blamed Sarah for him getting angry and yelling at her. James escalated to stalking Sarah, even after she broke up with him and told him to leave her alone. James was emotionally manipulative, put Sarah down, isolated her from activities she enjoyed, and was stalking her.

Emotional abuse is abuse.

It doesn’t leave outward scars. It makes you second guess yourself. It makes you feel bad, or that you are going crazy. Emotional abuse is controlling, without ever laying a hand on you. Emotional abuse can lead to physical abuse and sexual assault. It is important to try to set healthy boundaries early on in your relationship and recognize that you aren’t alone, even when your abuser may insist otherwise.

AVRC Staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have any questions about emotional abuse, healthy boundaries and dating violence, or if you want to seek support and safety, help is only one call away.

 

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, mental health status, substance use or economic condition.

 

crime victims rights, domestic violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Non-Profit Agency, Sexual Assualt, Stalking, Victim Service Agency, Victim Service Provider, Violent Crime

Teen Dating Violence: How much do you know?

Feburary is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (#TDVAM) and it is time to put your knowledge to the test! Let’s see how much you may know about healthy relationships and the facts about dating violence.
(Hint: Some of the answers can be found in AVRC’s 2018 #TDVAM Article,
 Go Orange this February!)

Multiple choice (can have more than one right answer)

1.) What percent of teens who experience dating violence attempt suicide?
     a) 44%
     b) 86%
     c) 50%
     d) 38%

2.) Abusive behaviors during dating violence include:
     a) Physical and sexual violence
     b) Mental and emotional violence
     c) Isolation and jealousy
     d) Stalking

3.) Among female victims of intimate partner violence, what percent were victimized by a current or former partner per age group?
     a) 52% of those aged between 12-22
     b) 94% of those aged between 16-19
     c) 66% of those aged between 16-24
     d) 70% of those aged between 20-24

4.) Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
     a) Fear or shame
     b) Pressure (social/peer, cultural/religious)
     c) Lack of support or resources
     d) Belief that abuse is normal

5.) How many teens who have experienced dating violence disclose their abuse?
     a) 50%
     b) 89%
     c) 33%
     d) 12%

6.) At what rate do high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner:
     a) 2 million every year
     b) 1 million every 6 months
     c) 1.5 million every year
     d) 100,000 every month

7.) Long-term effects of teen dating violence can include:
     a) Eating disorders
     b) Drug and alcohol abuse
     c) Unhealthy sexual practices
     d) Risk of ongoing abuse in adult relationships

8.) Which of the following is a sign of a healthy relationship?
     a) Spending all your free time together.
     b) Maintaining interests, hobbies, and friendships outside of the relationship.
     c) Having sex every day, because it shows how much you love each other.
     d) Valuing each other’s opinions and boundaries.

True or False

1.) Over 80% of parents believe teen dating violence isn’t an issue, or admit they don’t know if it is an issue.  ___________
2.) Physical violence always leaves visible marks. ___________
3.) Dating violence is limited to in-person contacts.    ___________
4.) LGTBQIA+ teens and young adults experience dating violence less than heterosexuals. ___________
5.) People abuse their partners because of anger and substance abuse issues. ___________
6.) Your partner can’t rape you if you have had sex with them before. ___________
7.) Abuse always stops if you break up with your abuser. ___________

ANSWER KEY

Multiple choice (can have more than one right answer)

1.) What percent of teens who experience dating violence attempt suicide?
     c) 50%
Half of teens who have experienced dating violence attempt suicide, as opposed to 5.4% of young men and 12.5% of young women who have not been in an abusive dating relationship.

2.) Abusive behaviors include:
     a) Physical and sexual violence
     b) Mental and emotional violence
     c) Isolation and jealousy
     d) Stalking
Abusive behaviors include all of those listed above, as well as digital abuse and financial abuse.

3.) Among female victims of intimate partner violence, what percent were victimized by a current or former partner per age group?
    b) 94% of those aged between 16-19
d) 70% of those aged between 20-24
Girls and young women between the ages of 16 to 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.

4.) Why do people stay in abusive relationships?
     a) Fear or shame
     b) Pressure (social/peer, cultural/religious)
     c) Lack of support or resources
     d) Belief that abuse is normal
There is no one reason why someone may stay in an abusive relationship, but the above are just some of many of these reasons. Other reasons can include fear of being outed, if the abused party is LGBTQIA+ and has not come out yet. Other reasons can include distrust of authorities, such as believing that adults or law enforcement won’t listen or help if abuse is disclosed.

5.) How many teens who have experienced dating violence disclose their abuse?
     c) 33%
Only 1/3 of teens disclose abuse to their friends or family.

6.) At what rate do high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner:
     c) 1.5 million every year
Physical abuse can include pushing, shoving, hitting, and strangulation.

7.) Long-term effects of teen dating violence can include:
     a) Eating disorders
     b) Drug and alcohol abuse
c) Unhealthy sexual practices
d) Risk of ongoing abuse in adult relationship
Further risks include teen girls being sexually abused are six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI).

8.) Which of the following is a sign of a healthy relationship?
     b) Maintaining interests, hobbies, and friendships outside of the relationship.
     d) Valuing each other’s opinions and boundaries.
Healthy relationships are based on respect, trust, and consent.

True or False

1.) True. 81% of parents don’t realize that teen dating violence is an issue.

2.) False. Physical violence can cause internal, unseen injury, including broken bones and internal swelling, bruising, or bleeding.

3.) False. Dating violence can also include digital violence, such as cyber-bullying.

4.) False. LGBTQIA+ teens experience dating violence at the same rates as their heterosexual peers, which is an average of 1 in 3 teens and young adults.

5.) False. While anger and substance abuse can be an escalating factor in the cycle of violence, abuse is caused by control issues in the batterer.

6.) False. Regardless of whether or not you have had sex with a partner before, consent is required every single time.

7.) False. Violence doesn’t always stop after you break up with your abuser, and may actually escalate, which is why it is so important to seek support.

So, how did you do? If you have any questions about Teen Dating Violence (#TDVAM), or if you or someone you know needs safety and support options to deal with dating violence, AVRC Staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the best steps anyone can take is to reach out for support!

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 a non-discriminatory agency regarding race, religion, color, gender, country of national origin, sexual orientation, mental health status, substance use or economic condition.

 

Statistics and data on dating violence provided by https://www.loveisrespect.org/.

crime victims rights, Non-Profit Agency, Victim Service Agency, Violent Crime

Burglary vs. Robbery: What is the Difference?

When googling burglary or robbery, both topics frequently come up in the same search. They are different crimes, though they do seem to often be linked. The main difference between the two has to do with the presence (or rather the lack thereof) of the victim of the crime. With burglary, the victim does not have to be present in order for the crime to be charged. This is not the case with robbery, which, as defined by Colorado state law, is when A person knowingly takes anything of value from the person or presence of another by the use of force, threats, or intimidation (CRS Sect. 18-4-301).

Burglary v. Robbery infographic

Burglary seems to inherently come with the image of a large figure in a striped sweater and mask, equipped with a crowbar and a flashlight. burglar-cartoon2However, this cartoon stereotype isn’t entirely accurate. Second degree burglary is defined by Colorado state law as knowingly breaking an entrance into, entering unlawfully in, or remaining unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime against another person or property (CRS Sect. 18-4-203). With that in mind, it is entirely possible that someone can be charged with burglary, and have no intent to commit the additional crime of theft. Another debunk of the stereotypical image of a burglar is they are sneaking into the home in the dead of night, when residents are asleep, flashlight in hand. The reality is that most burglaries occur during the day, when a flashlight isn’t really necessary. In fact, of all the residential burglary cases reported in 2016, a majority occurred during daylight hours, specifically between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This percentage may be even higher, as 13% of residential burglaries occurred at unknown times, such as when the victim was away on vacation, and discovered the crime when they returned home. This is why it is important to not post on social media that you are currently on vacation in the Bahamas for 2 weeks, because it can alert potential burglars that you will be away from the home.

Burglary by location and time

Robbery is defined by state and federal law as a violent crime, as opposed to burglary, which is most typically considered a property crime, under most circumstances. In 2016, there were 332,198 reported cases of robbery nationwide, including 3,528 cases reported in Colorado. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2010, “robbery was the most likely offense to involve an armed offender (44 percent)” and “firearms were the most commonly used weapon (29 percent)”. Most robberies occur on the street or highway, accounting for 38% of the incidents nationally reported in 2016; bank robberies accounted for 1% of the reported incidents. Other locations that robbery was reported to have occurred in 2016 included gas/services stations (2%), convenience stores (6%), and residences (16%).

Both crimes can have a lasting impact on victims, including nightmares, flashbacks, and/or trouble sleeping, all of which are potential symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In a survey of child survivors of burglary, there was indication that the self-confidence of the child was damaged after the attack on their home. For robbery victims, reactions are much the same, including being hyper-vigilant, or being nervous in large crowds, and being suspicious of strangers. All of these reactions are completely normal for what survivors have gone through; it is a normal reaction to an abnormal experience.

Should you, a loved one, friend, or family member have been a victim of burglary or robbery, support is just a phone call or car ride away! An AVRC Advocate is available 24/7 to answer the questions you may have about this issue, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

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 a non-discriminatory agency regarding race, religion, color, gender, country of national origin, sexual orientation, mental health status, substance use or economic condition.

 

Statistics provided by the FBI Unified Crime Report 2016
https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/topic-pages/robbery

Bureau of Justice Statistics
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv16.pdf

2015 National Crime Victims Rights Week Resource Guide
http://victimsofcrime.org/docs/default-source/ncvrw2015/2015ncvrw_stats_burglary.pdf?sfvrsn=2

Huffington Post
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-siciliano/children-significantly-af_b_5343097.html

 

crime victims rights, domestic violence, Non-Profit Agency, Services Spotlight, Sexual Assualt, Stalking, Victim Service Agency, Violent Crime

AVRC Services Spotlight: Criminal Justice System Advocacy

Recovery from violent crime and/or ongoing abuse can potentially feel overwhelming, especially when trying to juggle one’s daily life on top of navigating the ins and outs of  the criminal justice system.

Who am I supposed to talk to about my concerns regarding my case?

What do I do if I am struggling to make contact with someone?

What are my rights as a victim of violent crime?

What does ‘Arraignment’ mean? 

Sometimes, we just need a helping hand to let us know where to go or what to expect next. As a community based agency, the Arkansas Valley Resource Center (AVRC) stands alongside our local criminal justice system agencies (law enforcement, district attorney, courts, probation, etc,), but also apart from them, allowing AVRC Staff to potentially address the overall needs of the survivor in tandem with their criminal justice case(s) needs.

AVRC can, at the survivor’s request, refer to, arrange contact with, and/or attend contacts with criminal justice agencies, such as meeting with the District Attorney or reporting new and/or ongoing crime to law enforcement. Also, AVRC staff may be available to go with the victim to hearings and trials regarding their victimization, for emotional support. AVRC staff can assist the survivor in completing a victim impact statement or seeking victim compensation to possibly meet financial needs that arise from their victimization. AVRC will educate clients on the Colorado Victim Rights Act (VRA), and can assist when a victim feels their Victims Rights may have been violated, including making a VRA complaint.

If you or someone you know has needs relating to their victimization and the criminal justice system, and is need of support, AVRC staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions!

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

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