Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

October 2, 2007

Local Fatherhood Programs Support Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Denver—October 4, 2007—According to the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 5.3 million women ages 18 and older are abused by a spouse or intimate partner in the U.S. each year, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries and 1,300 deaths. Once again this October, Colorado will stand in unified support of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month working to drastically decrease the number of people affected by domestic abuse.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month officially began in 1987 with the intent of connecting battered women’s advocates across the nation in working to end violence against women and their children. In Colorado alone, domestic violence programs provided more than 87,000 nights of safety to more than 5,600 women and children during 2006 and turned away more than 5,800 women due to lack of space, according to the Domestic Abuse Assistance Program.

“Domestic violence is a pervasive problem that cuts across nearly all cultures, religions, classes and income groups,” said Ruth Glenn, the administrator of the Domestic Abuse Assistance Program at the Colorado Department of Human Services. “It is a complex problem that will not go away until it is addressed and conscious, deliberate steps are made to end the violence.”

In order to address domestic violence issues head on, all of the 36 Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Community Access Grant recipients are developing partnerships with local domestic violence programs and shelters. Abusive Men Exploring New Directions (AMEND), a metro Denver nonprofit organization and recent Community Access  Grant recipient, has been working to help men stop their violence and break the cycle of family abuse. AMEND’s mission is to ensure that intimate partners, children and families live in safe and peaceful homes. AMEND provides specialized support, ranging from addiction and violence to Christian-based and culturally diverse group counseling. In addition, AMEND offers parenting classes, educational support and anger management seminars and has victim advocates on staff to provide free, 24-hour crisis availability.

“Since 1977, we’ve helped the lives of more than 45,000 families,” said Linda Pettit, AMEND program director. “Domestic violence will only go away once we delve deeper into the roots of the violence. At AMEND, we try to teach men the skills needed to lead and maintain a life of nonviolence not only to end the violence with those men but to ensure that the violence does not continue with their children in future generations.”

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender and affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

If you need help, know someone who is a victim of violence or feel you are being abused please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). You can also visit www.ccadv.org for more information on Colorado resources.

About the Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative

In October 2006, the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado Works Division was awarded a $10 million federal grant over five years to strengthen father/child relationships and improve parenting. Colorado is one of two locations nationwide, including Washington, D.C., to receive this federal grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.1 million in community awards to state, community and faith based organizations to assist in providing direct services to fathers and families. Awards of up to $50,000 are distributed per program per fiscal year. For more information, please visit www.coloradodads.com.