Monthly Archives: June 2015

Workshop to Address Domestic and Sexual Violence to be held in Sterling

Sterling’s Help for Abused Partners is sponsoring a full-day workshop for faith leaders, advocates and community members to address how to better support victims of domestic and sexual violence in our community. The program, which will be facilitated by national speakers from the Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence will focus on strengthening partnerships between community providers and faith communities

Abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, first language, or faith. One in three women and one in seven men have experienced some form of physical or sexual violence or stalking at the hands of an intimate partner.

What does faith have to do with domestic violence or sexual assault? A study of older adults found that “respondents, especially minorities, often indicated that their ‘first stop’ would be a member of the clergy if they were to discuss their [abuse] with anyone.” However, faith leaders do not always feel prepared to respond. To make matters worse, sometimes abusers use faith as a weapon against a victim. Faith leaders are uniquely placed to reach out to victims and help direct them to services and safety, as long as they have the right knowledge and skills to do so.

Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence has been awarded funding by the Office on Violence Against Women to provide these trainings throughout the United States. For more information about Safe Havens’ work, please visit their website at

The training is free and lunch will be provided. Continuing education units (CEUs) for licensed clinical social workers and licensed clinical professional counselors are available.

For more information to register contact Help For Abused Partners at 970.522.2307.

WHEN: 8-5, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WHERE:  Trinity Lutheran Church, 732 Clark St., Sterling, Colorado

COST: Free

This project was supported by Grant No. 2014-TA-AX-K018, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Elonis Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court Fails Victims

DENVER, CO–Yesterday, in a concerning turn of events, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Anthony Douglas Elonis in a case that will have a profound impact on victims and survivors of online abuse and cyberstalking. Using a pseudonym, Elonis posted self-styled rap lyrics threatening his ex-wife, his co-workers, law enforcement agents and a kindergarten class. He claimed he was merely exercising his First Amendment rights and did not intend to follow through with his threats.

Elonis was convicted of cyberstalking and appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In his original trial, the court told the jury Elonis should be held guilty if a reasonable person would have known such actions would be interpreted as a threat. He claimed that standard was too low, and the prosecutor should have to prove he actually intended his statements to be a ‘true threat’.

In a 7-2 ruling that is a blow to victims, advocates, prosecutors and law enforcement around the country, the Supreme Court sided with Elonis. However, the ruling did not define the threshold required for conviction, leaving the lower courts to thresh out the issue. The fall-out has yet to be seen, but this ruling has the potential to jeopardize stalking laws nationwide.

“Once again our system has shown that it does not understand nor recognize how creative and manipulative abusers can be, nor has it shown that victims can trust our system to provide full protections. Most everyone else held the stalker accountable for his harmful actions, but in this instance the courts failed the victim,” says Ruth Glenn, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Stalking is a serious crime that can have profound physical, psychological and financial impacts on victims. It is also a key indicator of lethality. A ten-city study of intimate partner homicide found that 76% of women killed by intimate partners and 85% of women who survived such murder attempts were stalked by their murders. As a society, we must have a zero-tolerance policy toward all forms of abuse.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) has worked since 1978 to make every home a safe home. The NCADV works to raise awareness about domestic violence; to educate and create programming and technical assistance, to assist the public in addressing the issue, and to support those impacted by domestic violence. Visit us at