The Advocates of Lake County could not fully work with victims of domestic violence in our county without the support of the entire community. We are very fortunate to collaborate with many organizations in providing services to victims and working to eliminate violence.

Last October, the Herald covered the initiation of Lake County’s Domestic Violence Response Team. Modeled on the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Response Team, the Domestic Violence Response Team brought together community partners who work in some way with survivors of domestic violence. Initial participants included the Fifth Judicial DA’s Office, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Leadville Police Department, the Department of Human Services, Sol Vista Mental Health, St. Anthony’s Forensic Nurse Examiner, Lake County Probation Office and Treetop Child Advocacy Center.

The team has continued to meet over the past year and has benefitted from the additional involvement of Lake County Public Health, Lake County School District, and Cambio Counseling. Meetings include confidential case review, trend analysis and presentations by team members about domestic violence and services available to victims. Through regular collaboration on these topics, all organizations involved work together to make sure victims in the county are receiving the services they need.

Advocates of Lake County is excited to announce that the Domestic Violence Response Team will soon be further expanding its work thanks to a three-year grant from the federal Office on Violence Against Women. Federal funding will support team participants as they continue to meet regularly over the next few years. Full Circle of Lake County and Lake County Build a Generation will join as the team’s newest members.

Most excitingly, funding will allow the team to add violence prevention to the collaborative work that it does. Over the next three years, the team will work to identify a prevention problem that all members want to address, identify risk and protective factors, develop and test prevention strategies, and finally encourage widespread adoption of successful strategies across the county.

At the Advocates of Lake County, we are very much looking forward to seeing what our county’s Domestic Violence Response Team can accomplish with this new funding and we appreciate that the Office for Violence Against Women recognizes the potential of our team.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call our anonymous 24-hour hotline at (719) 486-3530. We will help you whether you choose to stay in your relationship or leave. If you have a loved one who is experiencing domestic violence and you do not know what to do for them, please call us. We can talk you through strategies for reaching out to them.

The Advocates of Lake County is contributing a weekly column to the Herald Democrat throughout October in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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