Programs at Renew Inc.
At Renew Inc., we offer a variety of programs that can be tailored to each victims’ needs. Learn more about them here, and be sure to contact us if you require assistance.
WINGS – Women In Need, Gaining Strength
Reach WINGS 24/7 at 970-565-9116 for free, confidential safety and advocacy services for the victim.
WINGS provides a temporary home for women and children survivors of domestic violence, as well as sexual assault. It encourages a positive and successful lifestyle, free from fear and violence. WINGS treats all people with fairness, dignity, and respect.
- Women and children survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault
- Children and their mothers, who are victims of child sex abuse
- 24-hour crisis intervention and admission
- Handicapped accessible
- Three meals a day
- Bathing and laundry facilities
- Medical, legal, and housing referrals
- Task-oriented counseling and goal setting
- Parenting, job, and life skills referrals
- Community referral services
- Call 970-565-9116 to speak to a staff person
- Women must be 18 years or emancipated (by having been married, in the armed forces, or having children)
- Residents freely choose to participate
- Residents agree to abide by the house rules and expectations
Contact us 24/7/365 at 970-565-9116
and the Crisis Hotline at 970-565-2100
Montezuma and Dolores County, Colorado
What is domestic violence?
“Domestic violence” means an act or a threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child, regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time. C.R.S. 18-6-800.3
The goal of domestic violence is to establish and maintain power and control. All socioeconomic groups, education, and income levels, race, religious, and ethnic groups are affected by domestic violence. Statistics also show that 50 percent of men who abuse their partner, also abuse the children in the relationship.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to females between the ages of 18 and 44, with 95 percent of reported cases of domestic violence involving a male batterer and female victim, although men can be and are victims, too.
Types of Abuse
- Physical: slapping, pushing, hitting, kicking, biting, etc.
- Emotional: name-calling, putting down, insults, etc.
- Sexual: being forced into sexual contact
- Threats: “if you ___, I’ll kill you!”
- Intimidation: gestures, looks, smashing things, etc.
- Isolation: being kept from seeing or talking to others, not allowed to go out, etc.
- Economic: being given an allowance, not allowed to have a job, etc.
All can be used to maintain power and control over the victim.
Although public awareness about domestic violence has increased dramatically over the past decade, it continues to be under reported and misunderstood. For more information and to reach our crisis hotline, give us a call at 970-565-2100.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you have done nothing wrong. You are a victim of a crime. Please don’t let guilt or shame stop you from asking for help. Often when a person is assaulted, they try to push it out of their mind, thinking it will go away. That often does nothing but make the “bad” feelings feel worse. Talking about it with a trusted friend, family member, or a counselor from a rape treatment center does help.
Defining Sexual Assault
The following are not intended for use as legal definitions; the intent is to provide a framework and common language for dealing with sexual violence.
What is sexual violence?
Sexual violence encompasses all acts that have the intent to harm, injure, insult, and improperly use a person sexually. Such acts negatively impact the sexuality of the person targeted, harming their health and wellbeing, and robbing them of a positive image of who they are and how they define themselves. Sexual violence includes a wide range of sexual activities that are forced upon someone, eliminating their right to consent, erasing their choice, and denying them their sexual freedom and ownership of their sexuality.
Sexual violence may consist of:
- Sexual remarks or language: Referring to women in derogatory terms, and making any other remarks that strip away a woman’s value as a human being, including belittling a woman’s appearance (commenting negatively on her weight, attire, looks, the way she walks, and putting down her other physical, spiritual, and emotional attributes).
- Disrespecting the privacy/physical boundaries of an individual: Invading privacy by walking in on someone while they are dressing or in the bathroom, watching someone undress or use the bathroom without their knowledge (voyeurism, or being a “peeping tom”), refusing to leave the room when asked, not allowing doors to be closed, etc.
- Expected sexual favors: Insisting upon sexual favors for repayment of a loan or for the expense of a date. Making her “put out,” not going home until sexual acts are completed, making her feel as though she constantly owes the abuser for any gifts, or for anything that has been done for her and her children.
- Fondling: Unwanted touching, caressing, playing, and feeling of body parts. This is not limited to intimate body parts such as breasts, vaginal, or buttock area.
- Unwanted sexual advances and/or touches and degradation: Unwanted caressing of someone’s various body parts. Sexually explicit gestures, rubbing, or pressing against someone without their consent, invasive touches, and not taking “no” for an answer. Actions that degrade: pinching someone’s buttocks as they walk past, verbal sexual harassment, offering gifts or money for sexual favors.
- Pornography: Forcing a woman to watch videos of sexual acts, forcing her to perform sex acts and/or recording or taking pictures of such sexual acts without her knowledge or permission. Forced exposure to pornographic material: magazines like Playboy or Hustler, sexually explicit, exploitative pictures, and X-rated videos.
- Exhibitionism: Acts that consist of indecent exposure by the abuser: undoing one’s clothing and sexually rubbing/playing with oneself or masturbating in front of her. Such acts may also include forcing her to watch the abuser perform a sexual act with another, or forcing her to perform a sexual act in front of the abuser and/or someone else.
- Forced prostitution: Forcing or coercing a woman to perform sexual acts in return for favors, friendships, in trade, or for money.
- Exploitation by spiritual leaders: Using spiritual practices such as doctoring and sweat lodges to take advantage of the closed surroundings in order to commit sexual acts. Self-proclaimed spiritual advisers, traditional healers, etc. who use their status to spiritually coerce another to engage in sex, stating “the spirits said that I need to have sex with you for you to heal” or “you need to be doctored, or touched, in that place” for healing. Instilling fear by telling women they will use “bad” medicine against them.
- Rape: Forced sexual intercourse, and/or using force to commit oral, anal, or vaginal sex. This forced sexual intercourse can also be drug or alcohol facilitated, in such cases, a victim’s ability to consent is removed by drugs or alcohol. In the following section, “rape” refers to any act of sexual violence, including acts committed by same gender perpetrators.
Who commits rape/sexual assault?
- Strangers: Rape by strangers is the stereotype many people have of sexual violence, but it is the reality for a small minority or rapes. While stranger rape is very real and serious, it rarely reflects the true nature of most crimes of sexual violence – especially in tribal communities, where there aren’t many strangers.
- Non-Strangers: Non-stranger rape can be broken down into two categories
- Acquaintance: This refers to rape that occurs between individuals who are dating or are acquaintances, and is the most common context for sexual violence. The vast majority of rapists know the women that they assault.
- Brief Encounter: This refers to rapes that happen when the woman who is raped knew the rapist for less than 24 hours, and is considered distinct from acquaintance cases. From a woman’s point of view, she didn’t know the assailant because she had barely spent any time with him before the rape. However, from a system’s point of view, she had spent time with him, and he is therefore an acquaintance.
- Marital: Marital rape is the crime of forcing a partner to submit to sexual intercourse within the context of a marriage. When married women face sexual violence in their relationship, they find it extremely difficult to get help. Though marital rape is illegal in all 50 states, it is not illegal in all tribal jurisdictions.
- A marriage license is seen by some as a license to rape; a woman may assess her situation and deem it hopeless, thinking that no one can protect her from her partner’s unwanted sexual advances. When you are raped by a stranger, you live with a frightening memory; when you are raped by your husband, you live with your rapist.
- People in Positions of Authority: This kind of violence happens when a person in a position of authority has sex with someone who is “under” them in a hierarchy. Due to the difference in status, the victim doesn’t truly have the ability to consent. People who might abuse their authority in this way include, but are not limited to:
- supervisors, managers, those in authority in a workplace
- spiritual leaders/advisers, priests, rabbis, pastors
- family members
- prison guards and staff members
- any adult having sex with a child, or individual under the legal age of consent
- Multiple perpetrators: Commonly called “gang rape,” this occurs when two or more people commit rape in the same incident, each taking turns assaulting the victim.
If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, please contact us.
We can help. You do not have to suffer in silence.
Renew Inc. will offer free professional counseling to help you through the trauma, help you explore your options and provide advocacy with Law Enforcement, if you chose to report.
All of our services are free, confidential, and available day or night.
Adult Survivors of Child Sex Abuse
If you were raped or sexually abused as a child, the first thing you should know is that it is not your fault, you did not cause it, and you are not to blame in any way, despite what you may have been told.
Society assumes people who have been sexually abused in childhood are damaged and not capable of living a normal life. On the contrary, survivors have full lives and succeed in a range of professions and in all strata of society. In doing so, they show great strength and courage. Adult survivors resist the effects of the abuse in many ways, and find strategies to help with healing.
If you were sexually abused as a child, you may have been deeply affected in many ways. Survivors have many strengths and resources to help them overcome these effects.
Children who are abused can be very emotionally isolated. The abuser can force the child to keep the abuse a secret. If the abuser is a family member, the child may worry about what will happen to the family if the secret is told. The burden of the secret can be carried into adulthood. Carrying a secret, and the abuse itself, can make the survivor feel different and apart from others, not like a normal person.
Self-Blame and Guilt
As a child, you may have thought you were to blame for the abuse. You may have felt that the abuse was punishment for something you did wrong. The abuser may, in fact, have told you this was the case. Children usually assume that adults, who are in a position of authority, are right. The guilt and shame felt by the child can persist into adult life.
As an abused child, your trust was betrayed, perhaps by someone trusted by the family, or even by a family member. When this happens it can be difficult to trust again. It can be difficult when you’re an adult survivor to trust in yourself, as well as to trust others.
If you were sexually abused as a child, there may be things that trigger memories. These include not only obvious things like childbirth, pap smears, or the way your partner touches you sexually, but also everyday things such as colors, kinds of furniture or vehicles, sounds, or smells that bring back memories or feelings associated with the abuse.
Challenges for Adult Survivors
Abused children are forced to do what the adult abuser wants. The adult’s wants come before the child’s needs. Sometimes, the child has also been charged with keeping the abuse a secret, at their own expense, to protect their family. As a result of this kind of abuse, adult survivors may feel they have to put the needs of others above their own by feeling protective of others, and over-responsible. In relationships, the survivor may have problems asserting themselves. This may be with friends, partners, relatives, or people at work. Some survivors have problems in sexual relationships, because sex and physical contact may recall the circumstances of the abuse.
Some adult survivors report problems with anger. It may be anger that is hard to direct, such as anger with fate or God. Adult survivors may feel angry with themselves for not being able to stop the abuse, angry with the abuser, or angry with parents or caregivers for not protecting them.
Some adult survivors report depression as a symptom of abuse. Research shows, in fact, that depression is the most frequently reported symptom (Berliner & Elliot, “Sexual Abuse of Children,” in Briere et al (eds), The APSAC Handbook on Child Maltreatment, 1996).
Fear, Anxiety, and Always Feeling on Guard
Fear and anxiety are normal responses to trauma, and so is feeling the need to be on guard against possible danger. Researchers have found survivors of sexual abuse are up to five times more likely to be diagnosed with at least one anxiety disorder than other people (Saunders et al, “Child sexual assault as a risk factor for mental disorder among women: a community survey,” in Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7, 1992).
Self-Harming, Addictive, Compulsive, and Suicidal Behaviors
Many survivors develop strategies to avoid overwhelming feelings and memories and the pain associated with them including:
- Eating problems, including starving, bingeing, vomiting food, or overeating
- Sexual difficulties, including avoidance of sex, promiscuity, or experiencing fear and flashbacks
- Being a workaholic, over exercising, or other compulsive behaviors
- Engaging in self-harm, including cutting and burning one’s arms, legs, genitals or other parts of the body
- Repeatedly thinking about wanting to die
Seeking counseling may be one way to find alternative strategies for working through the pain, memories and other impacts of abuse. Call Renew’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 970-565-2100 for assistance and free professional counseling.
Fear That I’ll Become an Offender
Some people believe that someone who was sexually abused as a child will grow up to become a child abuser themselves. This can lead to constant self-questioning and anxiety about being near children.
There is no basis for this belief; no link has ever been established between abuse in childhood and later becoming an offender.
A child who was unable to tell anyone about the abuse, or told but wasn’t believed, is under great pressure to deal with the abuse by themselves in other ways. Some survivors have experienced traumatic amnesia or delayed recall of memories of child sexual abuse. Traumatic amnesia is a particular response of the brain that prevents a child from having any conscious recall of the abuse. It is associated with extreme emotional trauma and has been documented by researchers in relation to a wide variety of traumatic events, not just child sexual abuse. One study found that traumatic amnesia was more likely to occur in child sexual abuse survivors if:
- the abuse took place when the child was very young
- the child feared death if they told anyone
- the abuse was associated with physical injury
- there was more than one abuser (Briere & Conte, “Self-reported amnesia for abuse in adults molested as children,” in Journal of Traumatic Stress 6, 1993)
Women Who Were Abused as Children
The effects of child sexual abuse are further strengthened for girls and women by what can be called ‘gender training’-the way women are seen in our culture. Guilt, powerlessness and being there for others are promoted by a wide range of social and cultural practices which blame women and girls for sexual violence, suggest women are responsible for maintaining relationships and moral standards and encourage women to be passive and dependent on others (Dympna House Info Kit, 1998).
There is an assumption in society that people who have been sexually abused in childhood are ‘damaged’ and not capable of living a normal life. On the contrary, survivors manage to live their lives and succeed in a range of professions and in all strata of society. In doing so they show great strength and courage. Despite the impacts of child sexual assault, adult survivors resist the effects of the abuse in many ways, and find strategies to help with healing.
If you have decided that it’s time to get some support to heal from the impacts of the abuse, or are trying to support someone else in their healing, Renew Inc. operates a 24-hour crisis and referral service.
All services are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL.
Call 970-565-2100 to speak to an advocate, available 24/7/365.
Silence ≠ Consent
Colorado Victims Rights
In 1992, Colorado passed a state constitutional amendment that provides victims with certain rights. The Colorado State Constitution (Article II, Section 16a) provides that:
Any person who is a victim of a criminal act* of such person’s designee, legal guardian, or surviving immediate family members if such person is deceased, shall have the right to be heard when relevant, informed, and present at all critical stages of the criminal justice process. All terminology, including the term “critical stages,” shall be defined by general assembly.
*The Constitution of the State of Colorado and the laws of the state [24-4.1 – 302(1) C.R.S.] guarantee certain rights to the victims of the following criminal acts:
- Murder – 1st and 2nd degree
- Criminally negligent homicide and vehicular homicide
- Assault – 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, vehicular
- Kidnapping – 1st and 2nd degree
- Sexual Assault – 1st, 2nd, 3rd degree, on a child, on a child by one in a position of trust, on a client by a psychotherapist
- Robbery – aggravated, aggravated of a controlled substance
- Incest and aggravated incest
- Child abuse
- Sexual exploitation of children
- Crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles
- Crimes for which the underlying foundation has been determined to be domestic violence
- Careless driving that results in the death of another person
- Failure to stop at the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person
- Harassment by stalking
- Ethnic intimidation
- Any criminal, conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or accessory involving any of the crimes specified above
If the victim is deceased or incapacitated, these rights may be exercised by the victim’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, grandparent, significant other, or other lawful representative.
The following is a summary of the rights guaranteed to victims by the Victim Rights Act. For a complete listing of your rights, please refer to the Colorado Revised Statutes 24-4.1-101 through 24-4.1-304.
- To be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect
- To be informed of and present for all critical stages (see below) of the criminal justice process
- To be free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse and the right to be informed about what steps can be taken if there is any intimidation or harassment by a person accused or convicted of the crime or anyone acting on the person’s behalf
- To be present and heard regarding bond reduction, continuances, acceptance of plea negotiations, case disposition, or sentencing
- To consult with the district attorney prior to any disposition of the case or before the case goes to trial and to be informed of the final disposition of the case
- To be informed of the status of the case and any scheduling changes or cancellations, if known in advance
- To prepare a Victim Impact Statement and to be present and/or heard at sentencing
- To have restitution ordered and to be informed of the right to pursue a civil judgement against the person convicted of the crime
- To a prompt return of the victim’s property when no longer needed as evidence
- To be informed of the availability of financial assistance and community services
- To be given appropriate employer intercession services regarding court appearances and meetings with criminal justice officials
- To be assured that in any criminal proceeding the court, the prosecutor, and other law enforcement officials will take appropriate action to achieve a swift and fair resolution of the proceedings
- Whenever practical, to have a safe, secure waiting area during court proceedings
- Upon request, to be informed when a person accused or convicted of the crime against the victim is released from custody, is paroled, escapes, or absconds from probation or parole
- Upon written request, to be informed of and heard at any reconsideration of sentence, parole hearing, or commutation of sentence
- Upon written request, to be informed when a person convicted of a crime against the victim is placed in or transferred to a less secure correctional facility or program or is permanently or conditionally transferred or released from any state hospital
- To be informed of any rights which the victim has pursuant to the constitution of the United States or the State of Colorado
- To be informed of the process for enforcing compliance with the Victim Rights Act
Additional rights and services are provided to child victims or witnesses. Law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges are encouraged to designate one or more individuals to try to assure that the child and their family understand the legal proceedings and have support and assistance to deal with the emotional impact of the crime and the subsequent criminal proceedings.
Criminal Justice agencies have certain responsibilities for assuring that victims receive their rights. Please refer to 24-4.1-303 C.R.S. for specifics.
The “Critical Stages” referred to in the law [24-4.1-302(2) C.R.S.] include the following stages of the criminal justice process:
- The filing of charges
- The preliminary hearing
- Any bond reduction or modification hearing
- Arraignment hearing
- Disposition of the complaint or charges against the person accused
- The trial
- Sentencing hearing
- Appellate review or appellate decision
- Sentence reconsideration
- Probation revocation hearing
- The filing of a complaint, summons, or warrant by probation for failure to report or because location of a person convicted of a crime is unknown
- Request for a change of venue or transfer probation supervision
- Request for release from probation supervision prior to the expiration of original sentence
- Attack of judgement or conviction
- Parole application hearing
- Parole, release, or discharge from imprisonment of a person convicted of a crime
- Parole revocation hearing
- Transfer to or placement of a person convicted of a crime in a non-secure facility
- Transfer, release, or escape of a person charged with or convicted of a crime from any state hospital