Kremmling " Options available for domestic violence victims |

Kremmling " Options available for domestic violence victims

Eric Murray / Voice of Your Hospital

Domestic violence should never happen. When it does people need help, especially in rural areas where worries about confidentiality exist and transportation issues often make access difficult. Fortunately, Advocates Victim Assistance Team (Advocates) is here to help.

Advocates, with a main office located in Hot Sulphur Springs, is working diligently to educate the public about its services, which include domestic abuse information, prevention education, medical and courtroom advocacy, assistance with restraining orders, counseling referrals, temporary safe housing and relocation assistance.

Services are offered free of charge. They are also working toward a significant goal ” a long term transitional safe house.

Confidential safe house locations are available throughout the county for up to three days, which is often not enough time for the victims to transition out of their situation.

The ideal location for the long term transitional safe house would be in Granby or Hot Sulphur Springs because of the central location. Quick response time by law enforcement would be possible in these locations.

According to Marissa Lorenz, outreach and education coordinator for Grand County Advocates, approximately 340 calls are handled though the 24-hour crisis line. Of those calls some 65 percent involve physical violence. Approximately 93 percent of the calls are from residents, according to Lorenz, which is important to note because some people reportedly think that most calls are from visitors.

“We are supported by grants, individual contributions and we have volunteers,” said Lorenz. Confidentiality is assured under all circumstances as required by Colorado statute. “No information whatsoever can be released to anyone other than the victim.”

It is thought that this creates an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust.

Another focus for Advocates Victim Assistance Team is to build relationships with other service providers in the county. Grand County Advocates is not a part of the hospital. However, like many health care and health care-related services, they collaborate at necessary times.

“We all (health care organizations) have the same goal of helping individuals in both the short and long term,” said Lorenz. “If we are all aware of what each of us can do we offer more to our clients.”

In case of an emergency call 9-1-1 or your local police department. To contact the Advocates 24-hour crisis line dial (970) 725-3412.

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