Policy updates and more
Policy updates and more
News, Upcoming Trainings, Other Resources
February 2023
A picture of Roshan smiling, wearing glasses and a black shirt

Hello from Violence Free Colorado!

As of January 17, I became the new Executive Director here at Violence Free Colorado. You may have seen our official announcement. I know you've seen a lot of these announcements in the last few years – from us and from programs across the state; you may have posted a few yourself. With so much change, it can be hard to invest in new people or to trust new ideas. I want to invite you to dialogue with us and with me in the coming months and years. My goal is to nurture, build, and rebuild relationships so that we can make Colorado a safer and more just place to live.  
I came to Violence Free Colorado in December of 2020 as the Associate Director.  Since that time, I have gotten to know many of you - through our training and technical assistance, by working alongside you on task forces, in funding conversations, at policy meetings, for celebrations of your good work, and in community during times of hurt and anger. I have also been part of an incredible team. Brandy, Corinne, Hannah, Katie, Lindsay, Liz, and Miranda are dedicated and demanding. They work every day to make domestic violence advocacy more equitable through support, community, and care. 
I came to Violence Free Colorado after many years in direct service as a counselor, teacher, and advocate. I love that work. Honestly though, I love supporting that work more. I love teaching teachers, helping advocates advocate. I came to the Coalition so that I could spend every day finding ways to nurture advocates and expand advocacy here in Colorado. This is what we do and will continue to do. We are here because we believe in the value of your work and are always grateful for the opportunity to walk alongside each of you.

Coalition Updates

April 2023 calendar, pen, reading glasses, plant on blue background

Save the Date!

2023 Membership Meeting
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. April 6
Representatives from all member organizations are invited to attend our annual membership meeting. This meeting will include our full Board of Directors and all Violence Free Colorado staff. It will be an opportunity to discuss the transition of the past two years and share our vision for the upcoming year and the years to come. In this meeting, we will also ask members to vote on a few changes to our by-laws, new Board members, and to help us begin a discussion of our current membership structure and ways we can improve it. Look for the invitation soon and reach out to Roshan with any questions. 
Corinne DiVittorio
Katie Wolf 
Public Policy Director

Public Policy Team

The first regular session of the 74th General Assembly is underway. In the 65-member House, 30 representatives are new to the Capitol. The 35-member Senate has only two brand-new members, but roll calls there will sound like last year’s House - 10 new senators previously served in the other chamber.
Beyond the sheer numbers of new lawmakers, there are other shifts that have remade the General Assembly. Democrats have gained seats, women are a majority of the 100 members, the ranks of progressive Democrats have grown, the GOP could be slightly less conservative than in the past, and the Joint Budget Committee is the most inexperienced in recent memory.
While many faces will be unfamiliar, most of the issues facing the 2023 session will be very recognizable.
The state budget, education funding, housing costs, firearms regulation, air and water quality, criminal justice, water development, and wildfire mitigation are already teed up for fresh debates.

Violence Free Colorado has three priority bills we'll be working on this session. The first (HB23-1107) is working toward an annual state appropriation for domestic violence funding. The bill is asking for 15 million dollars that will be allocated by state departments to distribute to programs for services and prevention. The second bill (HB23-1108) is convening a taskforce on judicial training. The taskforce will convene a group of stakeholders from advocate coalitions, retired judges, and members of the judicial branch to discuss what types of trauma-informed survivor and victim training should be required for judges. The third bill (awaiting its bill number) that is a big priority is moving domestic violence cases out of municipal court. We will keep you updated on the progress throughout the session! 
Brandy Walega and Miranda Encina

Training and Technical Assistance Team

Training and TA Team

12 p.m. Feb. 14  
Title: Addressing Abortion Rights and Access with Cobalt
Presenter: Amanda Carlson (she/hers) 
ASL and Spanish interpretation provided. Tendremos la interpretación de ASL y español.

Long before the Supreme Court reversed fifty years of precedent and eliminated the right to abortion care at the federal level, abortion funds across the country worked tirelessly at a grassroots level to ensure the accessibility of abortion care. Even in states where abortion care is legal, many barriers may still exist to access it. From those living in rural areas with unreliable transportation, to the difficulty of lost wages for hourly workers, the legality of abortion doesn't matter if it is not accessible. As we say in the reproductive rights movement, Roe was the floor, not the ceiling. In light of the national healthcare crisis that the Dobbs decision created, the Cobalt Abortion Fund shifted to meet the 300% increase in demand. Overnight, we essentially became travel agents. Join us as we discuss the challenges of navigating high volumes of healthcare travel, the various barriers faced by our clients, and how we hope to work at the state and local levels to ensure Colorado protects the right and ability to access abortion care.

A weekly planner with doodles

Mark your calendars

A green heart with a white outline on a purple background

Don't forget! Renew your membership for 2023.

To all our members past and present: thank you for your partnership in 2022 and years before! We hope you will continue with us as members in 2023. Without you the coalition and our work wouldn't be possible. Additionally, membership dues support our public policy work and training and technical assistance services across the state.
Login via Coalition Manager to renew your membership online. For detailed instructions on how to renew at each membership level, use the following links: 
Questions? Email Hannah for assistance!

Resources and Other News

This document from our TTA Team contains a compilation of Colorado-specific domestic violence data. It may be useful to organizations completing grant applications and individuals wishing to learn more about the issue and status of domestic violence in Colorado.

For domestic violence survivors who have pets, shelters that also provide housing for animals can make a big difference in opening up options for survivor safety. To learn more about sheltering individuals with their pets, register to attend the Co-Sheltering Conference March 21 - 23. This conference is hosted by My Dog Is My Home, a national nonprofit dedicated to expanding access to shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness with their companion animals. 

Reproductive justice impacts survivor justice, impacts healthcare justice, impacts economic justice. VALOR.US has released a media toolkit for organizations to use to advocate for federal baseline protection for access to abortion, contraception, and reproductive healthcare. To help you do this, their toolkit is available in English and Spanish. If you have any questions or want to work with VALOR to adapt this for your organization, please contact Grace Glaser, VALOR's Public Affairs and Policy Manager.
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