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

October 3, 2008

Colorado Dads Unite to End Domestic Violence

According to the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in Colorado alone 49 people died as a result of domestic violence in 2007. A startling 19 children were killed between 2000 and 2007 due to domestic violence. These regrettable statistics must be addressed; no longer can we allow our families to be torn apart by domestic abuse. For the last two decades, October has marked Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when as a nation we come together in the fight to end domestic violence. Each year more and more Colorado fathers are devoting themselves to this cause.

Domestic violence spans every culture, race and ethnicity and is happening daily whether in the form of sexual, emotional or physical abuse. This mentality of domination is destructive and leaves lasting physical and psychological effects.

According to helpguide.org there are numerous forms of domestic abuse.

Emotional or psychological abuse - Emotional or psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Its aim is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming and shaming. Isolation, intimidation and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse.

Physical abuse - When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. There’s a broad range of behaviors that come under the heading of physical abuse including hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing things and assault with a weapon.

Sexual abuse - Sexual abuse is common in abusive relationships. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between one-third and one-half of all battered women are raped by their partners at least once during their relationship. Women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

Economic or financial abuse - Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you. In addition to hurting you emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also hurt your pocketbook. Economic or financial abuse includes:

  1. Withholding money or credit cards.
  2. Making you account for every penny you spend.
  3. Stealing from you or taking your money.
  4. Exploiting your assets for personal gain.
  5. Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
  6. Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  7. Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)
  8. Controlling the finances.

This year, with the launch of the Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence (CMADV) campaign men across the State are signing a pledge of declaration to take a stand against domestic violence. This pledge can be signed online at www.coloradodads.com. The CMADV campaign, an initiative of the Colorado Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Initiative, strives to build a community of men who maintain the similar mindset of ending domestic violence through public awareness and education.

“As fathers we need to be positive role models, demonstrating that men can be masculine and yet still loving,” said Rich Batten, fatherhood specialist with the Colorado Department of Human Services. “One of the best things we can do for our children is to respect their mother. A sense of mutual respect between parents will foster a healthy familial environment, where children can feel safe, loved and accepted.”

If you or someone you know is in danger please call 911, the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit www.ccadv.org to find a domestic violence shelter near you.

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 community access grant. The Responsible Fatherhood Initiative distributes more than $1.2 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 on a fatherhood program in your community, please visit www.coloradodads.com.