October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

VALLEY — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) and Tu Casa, Inc. would like to invite the public to support the cause. Join this month to take a stand, whether in silence or vocally, to end domestic violence. Throughout the month of October, awareness will be raised by promoting the color purple, coordinating events, and sharing information on Tu Casa’s Facebook page; educating about this abuse and how to help prevent it in the community.

Tu Casa, Inc. is a non-profit agency that helps victims/survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, stalking, and human trafficking. Tu Casa offers 24-hour crisis/assistance services in all six counties in the San Luis Valley such as emergency shelter, emergency relocation, and emergency financial assistance. All services are free, confidential, voluntary and available in English and Spanish. The vision is to support healthy, safe violence free lives for all children and adults in the San Luis Valley. Tu Casa, Inc. provided services to approximately 326 people in 2017, of which 260 were female, 63 were male, and 3 identified as other.

The purpose behind Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to work together to bring mindfulness to the community to end violence. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men aged 18 and older are victims of domestic violence. Females ages 18 to 34 experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence. On an average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical abuse or stalking by their partner.  Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) affects more than 12 million people each year. Domestic violence occurs in all genders, races, socioeconomic groups, and religions. Many experience barriers such as having low income or none at all, family size, and language barriers when they want to seek help and/or leave an abusive relationship. Also, they may have burned bridges with their family and/or friends along with agencies during their path to seek help.

Domestic violence is an abuse that has been around too long and a community must take a stand.  During the month of October, Starbucks will be hosting an art display in honor of survivors. Tu Casa Victim Advocates will be at Starbucks on October 8th and October 25th to discuss the art and DVAM; please join Coffee with the Advocates. On October 3rd, Tu Casa Victim Advocates will be hosting Lunch N Learn at Hospice del Valle with a painting project “Hearts of Hope” and presenting on DVAM and Tu Casa’s statistics. October 18th is #PurpleThursday, which is a day to promote wearing purple for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Tu Casa encourages residents to replace their porch lights with a purple lightbulb to show respect for those victims/survivors. Purple ribbons will be offered during the month to promote the cause. Please like Tu Casa, Inc.’s Facebook page to view pictures, quotes, and statistics on DVAM. Also, by donating and/or volunteering you can help honor those who have been impacted by domestic violence. Go the Tu Casa’s website, www.slvtucasa.net, and click on the link to donate or contact the office.

Domestic violence can no longer be ignored; all must work together to raise awareness. If you need help or know someone who does, please call the local 24-hour crisis/assistance hotline at 719-589-2465.

Consuelo Contreras is the Bilingual Victim Advocate/Hotline Coordinator for Tu Casa, Inc.