Apr 232003
 
Authors: J.J. Babb

Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is beaten, according to the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

But dating and domestic violence are not just national issues; they impact couples and families at a local level as well.

Crossroads, a safe house for battered women and their children, provided 6,940 nights of shelter last year.

“(It’s important to have this shelter) for the women to have a safe place to go. A place to go when a relationship gets violent,” said Carolyn, a women’s advocate at Crossroads who declined to give her last name for safety issues.

Crossroads, the only domestic violence shelter in Larimer County, not only provides shelter for abused women and children, but also works on outreach for men, women and children throughout the Larimer County community.

“(The way to help eliminate domestic violence is to) start to educate through the children and, I think, make the batterers accountable by laws, making them accountable for their actions,” Carolyn said.

Alpha Center, a student organization pregnancy resource center, not only provides information about all choices when a woman is faced with a pregnancy but also provides information and support about domestic and dating violence.

“Domestic violence is something I feel on campus is unheard of. People in violent situations don’t speak about it,” said Deena Faucett, a junior business major and also an employee at the campus Alpha Center.

With domestic violence occurring in 50 percent of all marriages, according to the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the problem needs to be discussed more often, according to Faucett.

“Awareness about domestic violence and dating violence of all kinds is especially important in all situations,” Faucett said.

For more information or help in a domestic violence situation call Crossroads at 482-3502 (crisis line) or 482-3535 (business line) or the Campus Alpha Center at 491-4872.

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The facts:

* In 1999, 84 people died in domestic violence- related incidents in Colorado.

* Approximately 4 million women are battered each year.

* Domestic violence is the number one cause of homelessness.

* Domestic violence occurs in 50 percent of all marriages.

* Violence often escalates when a woman attempts to leave an abusive relationship resulting in 75 percent of all battered women killed are divorced or separated from the batterer.

* Women are more often victims of domestic violence than victims of burglary, muggings and other physical crimes combined.

Source: Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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