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303-688-8484 (TTY available)
Douglas/Elbert County Legal Advocate
What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence happens when one person believes they are entitled to control another.
Domestic violence affects not just victims,
but neighbors, co-workers, relatives, and friends. It crosses all ages and both genders, all ethnic groups, and all socio-economic levels. The incidence and consequences of domestic violence know no boundaries.
Physical Abuse: The abuser’s physical attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It begins with what is excused as trivial contacts, and often escalates into more frequent and serious attacks.
Sexual Abuse: Physical violence is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual abuse, wherein the victim is forced to have sexual intercourse with the abuser or take part in unwanted sexual activity. Sexual abuse ranges from being called sexual names to rape.
Psychological Abuse: Domestic violence can include verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, isolating the victim from friends and family, withholding money and deprivation of other economic resources, destruction of personal property, harm to family pets, and other forms of psychological abuse.
Financial Abuse: Perpetrators may exert power by controlling the family's money and assets; e.g., keeping the victim's name off the bank accounts or investments, off the title of the family car or house, etc. By limiting access to resources, the abuser makes it much more difficult for the victim to leave an unhealthy, violent relationship.
Animal Abuse: Studies show that there is a high correlation between DV and animal cruelty. Perpetrators often threaten to or do harm family pets and livestock as a means to gain and maintain control over a victim. Not wanting to leave pets behind can be another barrier to a victim's escape.
What about the Children?
Domestic violence has serious and recognizable effects on children. Children may blame themselves and exhibit or display physical symptoms of emotional trauma.
The United Way ranks domestic violence as the leading cause of birth defects.
Studies have found that child abuse occurs in up to 70% of families that experience domestic violence.
Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to exhibit behavioral and physical health problems, including depression, anxiety, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, and violence towards peers.
Research shows that 95% of boys and 72% of girls witnessing domestic violence will carry abuse into their adult relationships, as either the victim or the perpetrator.
Programs and Services
Our current program area includes Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties in Colorado. However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you are in need of services and outside this area.