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Resources for assault victims in Colorado

People who have been assaulted and those seeking to protect victims can find assistance through some of these state-funded organizations throughout Colorado.

It is common for people to get into disputes and heated arguments in Colorado, but sometimes things can get out of hand. When a situation devolves into assault, people can end up getting hurt. Sometimes pressing charges is not enough. There are resources available to help victims of assault to improve their quality of life and gain protection from future incidents. Victims of assault, either past or present, should be aware of those in their local areas.

Resources for commonly targeted minority groups

LGBTQ and disabled persons are unfortunately targeted more frequently by abusers. The Initiative Abuse-Free Culture for All is primarily aimed towards helping disabled women who have been victims of assault. They provide access to safety planning, support, information and advocacy. They aim to help women who have been victims of elder abuse, caregiver abuse and sexual assault.

An organization that helps LGBTQ assault victims is the Colorado Anti-Violence Program. They work on a case-by-case basis to provide consultation from healthcare professionals, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters and law enforcement officers. They have a team of trained professionals who are experienced with working with LGBTQ violence victims. In emergency situations, COAVP can provide shelter, transportation and food. They also have a 24-hour crisis hotline.

Other organizations to help assault victims

Anyone, whether they be man, woman or child can become an assault victim. One organization that works with people in both urban and rural areas in Colorado is the Colorado Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Program. They specialize in providing information for domestic violence shelters and are in direct contact with many organizations. They fund programs that offer skill-building services, advocacy and crisis intervention. From their website, people can find links to numerous crisis shelters.

The Colorado Association for Victim Assistance is set up to help victims of any kind of trauma or crime, including assault. They also offer a certification program for those who are interested in becoming victim advocates themselves. People can get information for their specific geographic location by perusing their online directory. They also offer statewide training programs and a Victim Assistance Academy to help train both volunteers and professionals.

What to do after being assaulted

Even someone who has recently escaped from a situation where he or she was assaulted can take steps to protect him or herself in the future. Crime victims are protected by the Colorado Victim Rights Act. People who have been assaulted can press charges. If a medical forensic exam is conducted, victims can apply for financial assistance. Anyone, whether they are looking at the next steps for resolving a situation where they were assaulted or are seeking defense for assault charges, may find it helpful to work with an attorney in the local area who practices criminal law.