October domestic violence awareness month

Fort Morgan Mayor Terry McAlister on Tuesday night proclaimed October to be National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Fort Morgan.

“The impact of domestic violence is wide-ranging, directly affecting individuals and society as a whole, here in this community, throughout the United States and the world,” McAlister read.

As part of the proclamation, the mayor urged people to “actively participate in the scheduled activities and programs to work toward improving victim safety and holding perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable for their actions against individuals and our society as a whole.”

After he read the proclamation, the mayor gave it to Jan Schiller, the executive director of S.H.A.R.E., Inc., which is a nonprofit safe house facility and domestic violence program in Fort Morgan that serves battered women and their children in Morgan County and northeast Colorado.

“Thank you for the recognition,” Schiller told the mayor and council members. “We really appreciate it. ”

She told the council and the public about an event related to raising domestic violence awareness that will happen later this month in Fort Morgan.

“Love, Sex & Lies: An Intimacy Checkup — How healthy are your intimate relationships?” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday,Oct. 9 at Morgan Community College. There will be free pizza, and attendees will be invited to take a quick relationship survey and then watch a video, “Inside Domestic Violence: The Power & Control Wheel.”

Services that S.H.A.R.E., Inc. provides include: 24-hour crisis line response, emergency shelter, transitional housing, individual advocacy, support groups, children’s program, court advocates, help with protective orders and victim compensation claims, safety plans, training for advocates, law enforcement and other agencies and information and referral to other resource agencies.

S.H.A.R.E also runs the Safe Haven Project, which provides supervised parenting time — nearly always by court order — and safe exchanges for children. This program has been running since 2007, according to Schiller.

“We do most of the supervised visits in evenings and weekends,” she said, adding that these supervised visits are not only for court orders related to domestic violence, but also to drugs and other crimes. “It’s just another service to the community.”

City Manager Jeff Wells, who has served as prosecutor in Fort Morgan Municipal Court for quite a few years, said that the city does have “situations involving domestic violence on a regular basis.”

He called the work done by S.H.A.R.E. and other local groups, like Sexual Assault Response Advocates, Inc., to help victims of domestic violence “invaluable.”

McAlister also told Schiller that he fully supports her group’s efforts.

“I appreciate all you do,” he said.


Source Fort Morgan Times