Violence Free Colorado's Monthly eNewsletter
Violence Free Colorado's Monthly eNewsletter
News, Upcoming Trainings, Other Resources

September is...

Healthy Aging Month

Healthy Aging Month highlights the importance of quality health practices and services for older adults.
Positive health outcomes for older adults start with listening to their needs and encouraging autonomy. This also helps identify potential challenges in their experiences - even those that are not always obvious, such as elder abuse.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention identifies anyone over 60 as an older adult, and defines elder abuse as "an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult."
Similar to other types of abuse, many cases of elder abuse go unreported due to stigma and shame of telling others, or fearing retaliation from someone they depend on. 
  • One in 10 older adults worldwide experience some form of abuse each month, but only 1 in 24 cases are reported. 
  • As many as 2 of 3 people with dementia have been abused. 
  • Physical injuries can exacerbate existing health problems and lead to premature death.
  • Two-thirds of perpetrators of elder abuse are adult children or spouses.
A major barrier to survivor services for older adults is ageism, which is an action or attitude that discriminates on the basis of age. Biases can disempower older survivors by assuming they are incapable of choosing their own best course of action, ignoring physical indicators of abuse and infantilizing their experiences.
Here are some tips to provide support to older adults as a survivor service provider: 
  • Identify and call out examples of diect and indirect discrimination and ageism when you see them.
  • Acknowledge biases and avoid assumptions about an older adult's life and needs.
  • Take a person-centered approach in survivor services. Individualize your work and interaction with the person.
  • Identify the person's strengths and challenges, and allow more time to work with the individual to avoid rushing them.
  • Avoid "elder speak" with older adults, which incorporates deliberately slowing speech or speaking louder, and using terms of endearment inappropriately.
  • Consider your services from the perspective of an older adult. Is the environment accessible to older adults who may have mobility issues? Is there noise that makes hearing difficult? Are older adults relected in your materials?
  • Speak directly to clients instead of caregivers or family members to answer questions.
  • Support independent choice instead of issuing orders or assuming what's best for the individual.


Elder Abuse: resources and statistics from the World Health Organization on signs of elder abuse and preventative action
National Adult Protective Services: a national nonprofit providing state Adult Protective Services programs a place to improve the quality of services for victims of elder and vulnerable adult abuse.
The Eldercare Locator: a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging that lists local services for older adults and their families. 
National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative: online training modules for medical professionals and caregivers, and other resources to address elder abuse in indigenous communities. 

Coalition Updates

Stacey Smith, Grants and Office Manager

Fundraising Team Update

Hello! I'm Stacey Smith, the new Grants and Office Manager at Violence Free Colorado. I support general operations and fund development here including grant management, grant writing and other development efforts. 
Beyond traditional fundraising methods such as grants, we diversify our funding sources to ensure people of all financial capabilities can contribute to a cause they care deeply about. In each newsletter, I'll provide more information on different ways to fundraise.  

This month's feature is fundraising through workplace giving. Violence Free Colorado is proud to be part of Caring Connection, a Colorado workplace giving federation, and participates in the Colorado Combined Federal Campaign. To give to Violence Free Colorado through your workplace giving campaign, use our campaign codes below. If your employer does not currently offer a giving option and you’d like to start one, fill out an interest form on the Caring Connection website. The Colorado Combined Campaign begins this month so this is a perfect time to get started!

Combined Federal Campaign: 20608
Colorado Combined Campaign: 1879
Denver Employees’ Combined Campaign: 0572
Partnership for Colorado/Caring Connections: 

Contact me to learn about giving to Violence Free Colorado through one of these giving vehicles, as well as how to implement them at your organization! You can reach me at or 303-962-0934.

Lydia Waligorski, Public Policy Director

Policy Team Update

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is assisting the newly created Family and Medical Leave Taskforce in studying the possible implementation of a paid family and medical leave program in the state, and the comment period on the FAMLI plan is officially open.
CDLE is collecting comments from workers, business owners, organizations and community members to share with the FAMLI Taskforce to help inform their decision about the best paid leave program for Colorado. 
We're asking you and those in your networks to submit public comments about the inclusion of "safe time" or access to a state-run paid family and medical leave plan that would include job protections similar to those found in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
We anticipate that Colorado will implement a program in the next few years. Survivors' voices are critical to this program and the potential access they'll receive as FAMLI is developed and eventually rolled out.  
CDLE has created three avenues to submit comments:
1. FAMLI Taskforce website at 
2. Email Admira Makas at
3. Mail to 251 E. 12th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203, Attn: Admira Makas. 
The deadline to submit written comments is Wednesday, Sept. 25. All written comments will be made publicly available at the FAMLI Taskforce website.
If you have any questions, would like to discuss the policy or need help to submit comments, please don't hesitate to contact me directly at  
Liz Stuewe, 
Training and TA Manager

Training and TA Update

Do you need assistance in completing your first ACP application, or just need a refresher? Our webinar covers eligibility requirements, completing the enrollment application and tips for helping participants get the most out of the ACP program. Our presenter is Nikki Hernandez, ACP Outreach Coordinator, who has been with the Colorado Address Confidentiality Program since January 2017 and previously worked as a Confidential Victim Advocate for a community-based organization. Register here!
TA of the Month:

Violence Free Colorado is coordinating with the Colorado Domestic Violence Program (DVP) and the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health (NCDVTMH) to support ongoing development of Accessible, Culturally Responsive, and Trauma-Informed (ACRTI) principles and practices.
Our TTA staff can provide direct technical assistance in-person or via phone, document review, training, and peer-to-peer learning connections. Violence Free Colorado is dedicated to assisting programs as they are setting and striving towards their goals. 
 Questions? Please email me at

Upcoming Trainings

Webinars and Web-Based Trainings

Sept. 4, 1 p.m.: Nuisance Ordinances: How THey Work, Who They Harm and How to Fight Them. Presented by the Battered Women's Justice Project.
Sept. 10, 11 a.m.: Civil Justice for Victims of Crime. Presented by the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based VIolence.  
Sept. 10, 3 p.m.: Colorado Victims Rights Amendment. Presented by Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.
Sept. 12, 1 p.m.: Family Violence and Firearms. Presented by The Institute for Coordinated Community Response. 
Sept. 19, 1 p.m.: An Introduction to National Sources of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Data. Presented by the Battered Women's Justice Project. 
Sept. 24, 1 p.m.: Defense-Based Advocacy - Principles and Practices. Presented by the Battered Women's Justice Project.
Sept. 26, 1 p.m.: Unmet Needs. Presented by the Office on Violence Against Women. 
 Do you have an upcoming training or event that you'd like to share with the Violence Free Colorado community? Post an event on our website calendar!

In Person Trainings, Conferences and Events

Sept. 16:
National Conference on Domestic Violence - Voices in Action
Presented by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Location: Washington, DC
Sept. 24-26: Positive Culture Framework Training
Presented by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Location: Nashville, TN
Oct. 21-24: Sexual Assault Advocate Training Institute 
Presented by Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Location: Denver, CO

Resources and Other News

New Creative Programming TA Bundle from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
As we support trauma survivors, we must honor the unique and diverse ways they may feel empowered and strengthened in their individual healing processes.
This Technical Assistance (TA) Bundle includes TA Questions featuring creative programming ideas that advocates can adapt or replicate to support survivor empowerment and healing. These programs can offer far-reaching benefits such as helping survivors develop valuable marketable skills and gain work experience.
StrongHearts Native Helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives impacted by domestic violence
The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a free, culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska natives, offering safe. anonymous and confidential support and referrals to resoures daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. MST. After-hours calls may connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline by selecting Option 1.
StrongHearts advocates can develop a safety plan with victims, friends, family members or anyone else who is concerned about their own safety or the safety of someone else. Call 844-7NATIVE (844-762-8483) for support.
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