Alternatives to Violence Crisis Hotline (970) 880-1000
Home is not a safe place for everyone–particularly victims of domestic violence. Financial hardship, fear of COVID-19 infection and supervising children add a tremendous amount of stress to an already volatile situation that can lead to a greater risk of abuse. If abuse does happen, victims are too afraid to reach out for help from home for fear of being caught. That is why Alternatives to Violence, a nonprofit providing advocacy and resources for domestic violence victims in Loveland and southern Larimer County, wants to educate the community on how to help if they suspect someone might be experiencing abuse at home.
“Abusive partners do not handle stressful situations well,” said Executive Director of Alternatives to Violence, Kari Clark. “Add in the fact that gun shops across the Front Range have seen a spike in sales gives us more reason to be gravely concerned. Research has shown the presence of a gun in domestic violence situations can increase the risk of homicide for women by as much as 500 percent. It’s important for people throughout the community to know how they can help a neighbor or friend in need.”
What the community can do:
- Don’t text–call. A voice offers much more comfort than a text. Plus, a friend in need may be more likely to express concerns in an actual verbal conversation. You may even be able to detect if there is something wrong talking or FaceTiming a friend.
- Encourage them to act fast: For victims who are still healthy or not yet in quarantine status, encourage them to move while they can, either to a friend’s house, hotel or shelter. Staying at home may become more violent as time goes by.
- Drop off necessities: It is very likely that an abusive partner will withhold necessities like hand sanitizer as a form of power or control. Offer to pick up essentials for your friend and personally deliver them, practicing social distancing recommendations, to ensure they’ve been received. It might offer a good face-to-face opportunity to see how your friend is doing.
- Create a code word: Come up with a code word or signal your friend can use if she/he is in trouble and in need of immediate help. It can even be an emoji that can be easily sent via text.
- Contact Alternatives to Violence: The Alternatives to Violence Crisis Hotline (970) 880-1000 is available seven days a week, 24/7. Victims, as well as friends and loved ones, are encouraged to call for support and guidance.
- SUPPORT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE BY SUPPORTING ATV! ATV is working hard to keep their phone lines and doors open during this critical time. ATV asks the community to consider making a donation. However small, every bit of help is needed right now. Donations can be made at coloradogives.org/alternativestoviolence/overview.
About Alternatives to Violence:
Alternatives to Violence provides shelter, advocacy, education and resources for people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Since 1982, Alternatives to Violence has offered victims the opportunity to heal both emotionally and physically in a supportive environment. Each year, ATV provides emergency shelter, safety planning, advocacy, information and referrals to local resources, crisis intervention, and in some cases longer-term housing to over 800 people in Loveland and Southern Larimer County.
Alternatives to Violence was established in 1983 and is registered with the Colorado Secretary of State as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.