A little about Family Tree…

A little about Family Tree…

Posted on March 7, 2014 by josh in About VSN

3-7-2014 2-52-04 PMFor Domestic Violence Services, we have Women In Crisis, emergency domestic violence shelter, the Legal Advocacy and Outreach Program that is providing legal assistance and education and support to individuals and in the community about domestic violence.  We have our Parenting Time Program, providing a safe place for non-residential parents to have parenting time with their children in a supervised setting with a focus on safety for all participants.  ~Deb Bittner, Division Director of Domestic Violence Services 

Learn more about Family Tree by visiting their website HERE.




VSN Communication Google Group!

Posted on February 7, 2014 by josh in About VSN

If you did not receive an email or want to be part of this group, please use our contact form HERE.

Getting started with Google Groups:
To begin using this group, you must first have a Google Account. This does not mean you must have a Gmail Account. To create a Google Account please follow these handy instructions provided in this video:

Here is a link to a great video on HOW TO USE GOOGLE GROUPS:


When you receive an email from the group(vsncommincation@googlegroups.com) you have two options in your reply.

1. You can reply to the entire group by inserting vsncommunications@googlegroups.com in the “To:” line.
2. You can to reply to the individual sender by clicking “Reply.” Please make sure that vsncommincation@googlegroups.com is not included in the “To:” line.

If you click “Reply All,” everyone in the group will receive the message.

30 Years Later…Project Safeguard

Posted on October 7, 2013 by josh in About VSN

Project Safeguard:  Thirty Years Later We’re Still Safeguarding Victims’ Rights

Most people who read this blog will know that thirty years ago, domestic violence was generally viewed as a “family problem” and was considered to be nobody else’s business – certainly not something for law enforcement or the courts to get involved in.  What you may not know is the prominent role that Project Safeguard played in changing that attitude in Denver.

In the early 1980s, a group of Denver –based activists formed the Colorado Coalition for Justice for Abused Women.  This new organization (known as the JAWS Coalition) focused its work on:

  • The treatment of domestic violence as a crime;
  • Accountability for perpetrators; and
  • Providing victims with access to legal protection.

In 1984 the JAWS Coalition incorporated as Project Safeguard.  One of the organization’s founders told me recently that they had some reluctance about naming the organization after a brand of soap (I’m not sure if Safeguard soap is still around) but loved having those two strong words — SAFE and GUARD — front and center in the organization’s name.

Project Safeguard’s early days focused on policy work.  The organization played a significant role in instituting Denver’s mandatory arrest law (the first in Colorado) in 1984, the design and development of Denver’s Protective Order Court in 1992, and the passage of Colorado’s mandatory arrest law in 1994.  This was all new territory and it was hard work.  And that hard work received national attention in 1992 when Project Safeguard was recognized as one of five State of the Art Comprehensive Court Programs in the country by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

It  was a natural progression for Project Safeguard to begin direct service as a complement to its policy work.  Project Safeguard began providing specially-trained legal advocates to assist victims of domestic violence to increase their safety – particularly through civil protection orders.

Nearly thirty years later, Project Safeguard’s work has gone beyond the city limits of Denver.  We have legal advocates working in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield and Denver county courthouses.  But the core of our work remains the same:  safeguarding the rights of victims of domestic violence.

Guest Blog–CCASA: Reproductive Coercion: A New Term for an Old Problem

Posted on July 31, 2013 by josh in About VSN

Reproductive Coercion: A New Term for an Old Problem

By Karen Moldovan, CCASA’s Program Manager

Throughout my career, I’ve consistently worked with women (and girls) who are pregnant.  As an advocate at a domestic violence shelter, it was not uncommon for pregnant women to access residential and other supportive services.  When I became a teacher at a Florence Crittenton program, all of my students were pregnant and/or parenting teen girls, between the ages of 12 and 18.  In those settings, it wasn’t uncommon to have conversations about morning sickness, baby names, back aches, and the logistics of getting to and from countless OBGYN appointments.  While those conversations came easy, I gradually realized how complicated it was to have conversations beyond the more mundane pregnancy and birth talk.  As I was able to build trust with the women and girls I worked with, I slowly learned about the mounting physical and emotional safety needs that were often a quiet struggle.  One student was a twelve year old 7th grader, who flatly refused to tell anyone, anything about the male who was no doubt involved in her pregnancy.  Yet other students would quietly murmur about how the biological father was a grown man, and she didn’t want to get him in trouble.  Apparently her family didn’t want to get him in trouble either, because he did have steady employment and would be able to financially provide for the baby.

Still to this day, it’s painful to think about the struggles of many of these young women.  Pregnancy was often closely intertwined with intimate partner violence, incest, inter-familial sex trafficking, and rape.  There was a young women who refused to speak about or even acknowledge her pregnancy, a young woman who confided that she could not hold her baby daughter without breaking down into tears due to the flood of traumatic memories she could not stop, and the young woman who flatly refused seeking any sort of child support because the most important thing was being away from the man who impregnated her.  I bring up these cases because they changed me as an Advocate.  Now I look back and see that the context of the pregnancy was often the “elephant in the room.”  As an advocate, baby names and OBGYN appointments felt okay to bring up, but I really didn’t talk integrate the following facts into my work:

  • Approximately one in five young women said they experienced pregnancy coercion and one in seven said they experienced active interference with contraception (National Crime Victimization Survey, 2005).
  • Girls who are victims of dating violence are 4 to 6 times more likely than non-abused girls to become pregnant (Silverman, 2004).
  • As many as two-thirds of adolescents who become pregnant were sexually or physically abused some time in their lives (Leiderman, 2001).
  • Homicide is the second leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and recently pregnant women in the U.S. (Chang, 2005).

Considering what we know about perpetrators of intimate partner violence (and the power and control they demand), it should not be surprising that sexual coercion and forced pregnancy are frequently used as tools of abuse.  This abusive behavior may manifest as threats and/or violence if a partner does not comply with the perpetrator’s wishes regarding contraception or the decision whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy.  It may manifest as intentionally interfering with the couple’s birth control, or forcing invasive fertility treatments.

In my own personal life, my partner and I have spent the past two years seeking medical advice and intervention regarding (in)fertility.  In our journey to try and become parents, we’ve seen numerous doctors and medical professionals. When exchanging small-talk before or after an appointment, they’ve all asked me what I do for work.  As I explain CCASA, the tone of the conversation shifts, and more than one Fertility Specialist has shared case examples of reproductive coercion.  One case involved a couple coming in to seek in-vitro fertilization (IVF).  The Doctor just sensed something wasn’t right and (smartly) decided to talk to the husband and the wife separately.  When separated, the wife confided to the Doctor that she didn’t want to be pregnant and didn’t want to do IVF, but that her husband was forcing her.  Another Doctor told me about a situation where she had performed an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) procedure for a couple, which was successful and resulted in twins.  Shortly after, the couple was back with the husband demanding IVF.  The Doctor was perplexed by both his urgency and demeanor.  Within a couple months of that appointment, the husband was arrested for both child abuse and domestic violence.  When these stories have been relayed to me, the Doctors each seemed incredibly saddened, baffled, and unsure of how to both identify warning signs and respond appropriately.

Because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I think it’s important for all of us to think about how we can collaboratively improve outreach and awareness around reproductive coercion and the unique considerations of survivors who are pregnant.  I’ve found that health care providers want assistance with these issues, yet are often just too busy to be the ones outreaching to community agencies. The good news is resources are available.  Futures Without Violence (www.futureswithoutviolence.org) has numerous, groundbreaking tools for addressing reproductive coercion and facilitating cross training and collaboration between health care providers and advocates.  Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus’s book, “When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women” is a must-read for anyone working directly with survivors who are pregnant.  Research determines that a physically-abused woman also experiencing forced sex [is] over seven times more likely than other abused women to be killed (Campbell, 2003).  In light of this horrific statistic, these conversations are absolutely worth having.

Karen Moldovan is the Program Manager for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA). She joined CCASA with strong experience in advocacy, education, community organizing and international development. Her professional experience has often focused on working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, individuals experiencing homelessness, and pregnant and parenting youth. Karen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Gender Studies, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. In 2009, she completed service as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga. She is a founding member of First Response Action, which advocates for comprehensive reform for sexual assault prevention and response within the Peace Corps.

TECH NOW! Online Marketing 102! July 23, 2013 @ 10am!

Posted on July 1, 2013 by josh in About VSN


Marketing 102 with Jennifer Maahs-Cooper!

When: July 23, 2013  @ 10am

Where: Daniel’s Fund

Cost:  FREE to VSN Members!


Course Information:


To aid victim services course participants with information and brief how-to’s on how to effectively communicate with donors and clients in an online setting.  Participants will hear firsthand how effective online communication can engage target audiences to build awareness of their efforts and brand while also providing the tools necessary for donor response and action.



This 90-min course will include one hour of online marketing education and brief how-to’s to help with start-up efforts to build effective online communication.  This will include:


  • Reviewing why online marketing is necessary in today’s marketplace (from a business or non-profit standpoint)
  • The power of targeted reach with online hypertargeting
  • Taking your marketing plan to the next level and executing the online portion to meet your needs
  • Integrating elements like social media into your online plans to further your marketing reach and opportunity for donor and client engagement


Participants will leave the course with an outline of best practices and several references for affordable tools to get started.

Memorial Sign Dedication for Ethan Cassidy Wolf

Posted on June 27, 2013 by josh in About VSN


On Friday, July 19 2013 from 2pm – 5pm we will meet to dedicate a memorial sign for Ethan.
First we will convene near the corner of  Pearson Ranch Loop and Delbert Road in Elbert County (please see Map Section below) to dedicate a memorial sign for Ethan.  For a map from Denver to the meeting location, click HERE.
After the ceremony,  we will move to the Parker Arts Culture and Events (PACE) Center at 20000 Pikes Peak Ave.
Parker, CO 80138  for a reception.  Hors d’oeuvre and drinks will be served.

Please note:

1. You must enter the Pearson Ranch Loop through the northern entrance if traveling from Denver and drive around the loop to the parking area if coming from E. Parker Road (Main Street).  It is illegal to make a left turn onto Pearson Ranch Loop from the southern-most entrance.

2. There is very little shade at the meeting location.  Please plan accordingly with sunblock, umbrellas, etc.

3.  Please let us know if you would like to carpool: email jct@denverda.org

Please RSVP by Wednesday July 10, 2013.

Click the NEW ATTENDEE REGISTRATION button below now to RSVP.

The deadline to RSVP for this wedding has passed, please contact the bride and groom to verify that there is still a seat for you.

(You can RSVP for multiple people by clicking the green + sign while registering.  Need Help? Email jct@denverda.org)













Map of Gathering Area for Dedication


Posted on June 17, 2013 by rebecca in About VSN

Shoua Her proudly sits in his new office Asian Pacific Development Center celebrated the opening of their new facility in Aurora. Not only were there drummers and dragons, many heartfelt words were spoken. This new facility will offer medical and mental health services and space to house many community events. It was a thrilling experience! Click here for Dragon video
A special prayer.

A special prayer.


DDVCC Wins $500 in Forum Contest!!

Posted on June 3, 2013 by josh in About VSN

Congratulations to the Denver Domestic Violence Coordinating Council on their big win!

Thank you all for registering.  Let’s start posting!

Denver Center for Crime Victims: 26 Years of Service

Posted on June 3, 2013 by josh in About VSN

6-3-2013 9-20-42 AM

“I can’t believe the care, mercy and compassion and love that you extended to me. In this fallen world of violence and oppression, I am thankful to the Lord for your kindness and the hope you have given me. I was on the verge of losing my faith and you have restored it.” –DCCV Client

  The Denver Center for Crime Victims (DCCV) is a nonprofit agency that provides culturally and linguistically responsive services to victims of crime and crime prevention education. DCCV serves all victims of crime regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or national origin. All services are offered at no cost in over 41 languages and dialects. Since 1987, The Denver Center for Crime Victims has been the beacon of hope for crime victims in our community. In our 25 year history, DCCV’s counselors have served over 165,000 victims of crime. Your contributions allow us to provide the support crime victims need to heal from their trauma. Donations can be designated to any of our programs, our emergency fund, endowment or for general operating support. DCCV is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization and all contributions are tax-deductible. Please consider making a one-time or sustaining gift now or visit our Wish List or Volunteer pages for other ways you can contribute.

NAC Field Trip to the Karlis Family Center at Family Tree

Posted on May 22, 2013 by josh in About VSN

The Networking and Advocacy Committee (NAC) had the opportunity to visit the the Karlis Family Center at Family Tree.  A presentation was given to us by Jody Bittrich and Amanda Milner.

Jody and Amanda, our hosts.

Jody and Amanda, our hos

Hey! There's Robert!

Hey! There’s Robert!

Everyone was deeply engaged.

Everyone was deeply engaged.

              Thanks again to Family Tree!