We recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month here in Colorado, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the campaign.
“It’s important that we recognize this month because it’s an issue that keeps growing in our society,” said Shirley Crow, Peterson Air Force Base’s domestic violence victim advocate. “Not that it’s new, but it is very hidden and [kept] behind closed doors.”
In 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence held a Day of Unity as a way to connect advocates throughout the country who were working to put a stop to violence against women and children. Soon, the Day of Unity turned into a weeklong event, with activities taking place at the local, state, and national level.
Then, in 1987, we observed the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as well as the very first national toll-free domestic violence hotline. Every year Congress passes legislation that designates October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and on the first Monday of the month, we continue to celebrate the Day of Unity.
Let’s look at why we have this month in the first place with some domestic violence facts and statistics, and then let’s explore what all of this awareness can potentially mean for those accused of committing acts of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in Colorado by the Numbers
Last September, a majority of Colorado’s domestic violence programs participated in the National Census of Domestic Violence Services. This census takes a count of the number of adults and children who reach out to domestic violence agencies during a 24-hour period.
During the 24-hour census period in 2016, Colorado domestic violence programs reported:
- 919 victims sought help and were served.
- 476 victims were placed in emergency shelters or transitional housing.
- 443 adults and children received non-residential help and services.
- 338 hotline calls were answered.
- 253 services requests weren’t met because there was a lack of resources. Almost 70 percent of these unmet requests were for victims needing housing.
Perhaps the most important statistic, though, is that for the longest time, one out of every four women had been a victim of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Now, that number has gone up. Currently, it stands at one out of every three women and one out of every four men. That’s a significant increase, and it underscores why we need to work hard to curb the epidemic.
Sometimes, however, even working for good can lead to problems.
How Domestic Violence Awareness Can Lead to More Allegations
While it’s true that domestic violence is a pervasive problem that needs to be addressed, the publicity and the programs that accompany Domestic Violence Awareness Month can also lead to overzealous and inflated reporting and policing.
With domestic violence in the spotlight, people might look for domestic violence signs where there aren’t any, or misread a situation as possible domestic violence when it isn’t. For that reason, it’s especially important to reach out to an experienced Colorado domestic violence defense attorney if you find yourself facing domestic violence allegations.
A domestic violence accusation can negatively impact your life, but a domestic violence conviction can destroy it. Let a knowledgeable attorney listen to the facts of your case to determine the best way to proceed. That way you have the strongest chance of clearing your name and returning to your regularly scheduled life.
Don’t let domestic violence being in the public eye ruin your life. Reach out to a skilled attorney with proven results today to fight for your rights.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.