October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, the President called on all Americans to speak out against domestic abuse. We would like to take this opportunity to educate people about how domestic violence is addressed under Colorado law specifically and offer resources for survivors.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is typically associated with physical abuse, but it can take other forms as well.
Under Colorado law, domestic violence is “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” Furthermore, it “includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge.”
In other words, domestic violence can come in the form of physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, property damage or theft, stalking, harassment and more.
In addition, Colorado law does not limit the definition of “intimate relationship” to married couples. It can also apply to divorced couples, couples in a dating relationship or formerly in a dating relationship, parents of the same child and more.
Colorado is serious about protecting victims of domestic violence. There are arrest rules, no-drop rules and other rules in place to protect victims.
One of those rules is that a mandatory protection order will be issued against the accused at the time of arraignment. This order can be bolstered to require the accused to vacate or stay away from the victim’s home, to avoid contact with the victim, to prohibit the possession of a gun, to prohibit drinking alcohol and more at the court’s discretion.
While protection orders are automatic in domestic violence arrest situations, victims can always request protection orders even if no charges against the other party have been filed.
Resources For Victims Of Domestic Violence
Many resources are available to victims of domestic violence in the Denver area, including Safehouse Denver, which provides emergency shelter, intervention, counseling and more. Family Tree provides a variety of services for domestic violence victims. Their domestic violence crisis line is 303-420-6752. The Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers a great deal of information and resources to people in Denver and statewide.
The Denver Police Department’s domestic violence unit can be reached at 720-913-6071. The general number for Denver Police Headquarters is 720-913-2000, or 911 in emergencies.
At Scardina Family Law, our attorneys are available to assist with obtaining protection orders and help survivors of domestic violence with divorce, child custody, child support and other issues.