By: Jacey Christensen
Volunteering in the Time of COVID-19: The story below outlines how services are typically provided by Rise Above Violence volunteer or staff advocates. During our current situation we need volunteers more than ever. Rise is taking every precaution to protect our staff, volunteers, and our clients. Our current services are being offered by phone or secure video conference. If there is a need for in-person support at the emergency room or to take clients to safe housing, all precautions are being taken to ensure both the physical safety of our clients as well as protect staff from unnecessary exposure. Since the shelter in place order went into effect, the call volume as doubles for Rise - volunteers are can be trained remotely to help respond via phone. IF you have time right now and want to learn more please contact us.
It’s 11pm on a Tuesday night. Law enforcement responds to a domestic dispute in which a man has physically assaulted his female partner. Law enforcement reaches out to Rise Above Violence for an advocate to respond on scene to support the victim. A Rise advocate jumps in their car and quickly makes it to the home of the victim. She is visibly upset and has evidence of physical violence as well. As law enforcement finishes their paperwork, the advocate is left with the victim who is feeling devastated and traumatized. After a long, compassionate conversation with the victim, she decides she would like to seek medical attention for her injuries. The advocate drives the victim to the hospital and stays by her side while she relives her traumatic story yet again to medical professionals. The advocate is there to sit with her through her medical exams and then to drive her back home afterwards, as she is extremely exhausted.
Although responding on scene is a rare occurrence for our volunteer advocates, it is one of the actions our organization takes that often leaves the most impact on our victims. After the dust has settled and first responders have left the scene of the domestic violence incident, a victim often feels helpless with no one to process the events. Imagine that this is your daughter, niece, aunt, best friend or anyone else that you love who is a victim of a domestic violence. Would you hope that she has a kind and knowledgeable advocate there to guide her and support her through this time? Many people who live in Pagosa Springs don’t have family near, and in tragic times they only have our wonderful volunteers to lean on.
Rise Above Violence has a 24-hour hotline that covers 7 days a week. The days are broken down into two 12-hour shifts. The first shift is from 6am to 6pm and the second shift from 6pm to 6am. Each volunteer selects their shift including which nights or days they want to cover. Depending upon their personal schedule, our volunteers decide how many shifts they want to take each year. When on call, we ask that you be available to respond to any calls. We do not expect you to put your life on hold and stop your daily activities, just that you remain accessible to respond to a crisis call if and when you are needed.
If any of this has sparked your interest, please feel free to reach out to Rise Above at 264-1129 for more information.
Dating Violence Awareness Month
By Monique Martinez, Youth Rise Student
Did you know that 33% of adolescents are victims of dating violence? Every 24 minutes someone in the world is a victim of dating violence. It's not just common in females, males can also be victims of dating violence. Most of the time they don't know or understand that there in an abusive relationship they think it normal or thinking their partner will change. The following are red flags of dating violence:
In the month of February Rise Above Violence and Youth Rise will support worldwide efforts to raise awareness about dating violence. Wear Orange For Love Day is February 11th; wear orange to show you support victims and survivors of dating violence. There are a lot of people that are too scared to talk or come out about being in a bad relationship if you need to talk to someone anonymously call
Look out for instagram post from @pshs.youth.rise and continuous awareness and educational information in the month of February.
Remember there is always someone to talk to, you are not alone.
By: Carmen Hubbs
This Holiday season we would like to share with you the impact you have. Your time and generosity makes a difference. It truly takes a village - Thank You for being part of ours.
Where were you on May 8th, 2011?
If you were a mother on that day, you were likely being celebrated. Your children surprising you with breakfast in bed and promises of good behavior and chores to come.
For Shelly*, a mother of two young boys, May 8th, 2011 was a very different Mother’s Day. Today she had a law enforcement officer in her living room, her husband sitting in the back seat of a patrol vehicle, and her children clutching to her, scared and upset. On this day, Mother’s Day 2011, Shelly’s morning started with a slap, ridicule, and being called a name no mother should be called.
At a very young age, Shelly learned abandonment and instability. Her parents’ relationship was volatile. “They were fighting. Every time my mom and dad would get in a fight, she would kick us out – both of us. She decided to kick us out and let my dad back in. I lived with my aunt for a little bit, then she decided to kick me out because she said it was my dad’s responsibility, not her responsibility. So then from there I went from friends’ to friends’ houses and they were letting me stay the night. I was only 11.”
Looking for love in all the wrong places isn’t just words to a Johnny Lee song. At age 13, Shelly was pregnant. Her mother allowed her back home, but being true to her Modus Operandi, kicked her and her 6 month old son out of the house … again. In comes her knight in shining armor, or so she thought.
“My child was 2. You don’t think they remember a lot, but they do. They never got abused, but seeing it is stressful. That was the worst thing. I would never want to put them in that situation again. He goes to therapy just because he does stuff like his dad. And that’s the last thing I want is for him to ever hit a woman. It’s hard because I’m gonna try to break that cycle before he gets older.”
Her sons watched their dad slap their mother on Mother’s Day. They watched their mom cry; they watched their dad handcuffed and hauled to jail. Shelly remembers, “It affects the kids the worst.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t their last rodeo.
For those who want to leave an abusive relationship, it’s a process, one many of you reading this story will never experience, while others know it all too well. For Shelly, she admits, “It was hard to get out of that relationship. You try to get out of that relationship. A lot of women don’t understand, when you get in a[n] [abusive] relationship you cover for him, you cover, you cover, you cover, you cover, you cover. And when you lose your family and friends it’s when it’s the hardest to get out of that relationship because you’ve done lost everybody.”
“And you can do it,” champions Shelly. And she did. “There are people out there that can help you. I worked with a domestic violence advocate after I lost my children. They helped me for two years. They don’t just help you mentally and physically, but they help you get on your feet. Need to call with anything, like it’s awesome! It’s a great program!”
I was Shelly’s advocate that day on Mother’s Day 2011. I’ve been privileged to witness her survival and growth ever since. Her drive, her love for her children, her tenacity to keep going despite her odds motivate her. When asked how her kids are these days, “They see me happy, and they’re happy and they’re safe at home.”
It takes a village to end domestic violence. Shelly did it with support from many resources, one vital one being Rise Above Violence. Consider your gift a gift to others like Shelly, where an advocate walks alongside them for however long their journey takes to happiness and safety.
Till it ends,
Carmen Hubbs, Executive Director
There are many ways to give
by Mail - PO Box 2913, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
by Paypal - HERE
or check out our Donations Page for gifts that don't cost you anything
This time of year we like to look back and thank those that have partnered with us this year to make the work with victims and survivors possible.
There are a few things that make an impact every day!
1) Our Volunteer Advocates help Rise answer the crisis hotline to ensure that when someone calls for help there is someone to respond to them
24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a year
2) Our Event Volunteers help our fundraising and awareness efforts go smoothly and ensure a wonderful time.
3) Our Amazing Volunteer Board - for all the support they give the Rise staff.
4) The Donors and Sponsors that stand with us and make the help and hope possible.
This community RISES every day to support the victims and survivors. Thank you for your time, your energy, your commitment, your generosity. It makes our community stronger. It makes sure that the 350+ people who come into the office every year receive the advocacy and support they need. It makes providing violence prevention education to 800+ students every year possible.
Together we will Rise
to end Violence in Archuleta County
Social Change starts with #1Thing
Domestic violence impacts millions of people each year, but it can be prevented. It requires the collective voice and power of individuals, families, institutions, and systems – each whose “one thing” adds a valuable and powerful component to transforming our communities.
That is why Rise is asking “What is the #1Thing you can do to end domestic violence?”. October is a month for awareness but it will take individuals taking action all year long to make a difference.
Many people care and understand that domestic violence is a serious public health problem. They want to do something but believe their actions can’t make a difference. Change can start with only #1Thing. Imagine if all 13,000 individuals in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County each commit to doing just #1Thing to stop domestic violence we could really see some serious social transformation
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
Rise Above Violence served 361 victims of abuse and violence last year alone
#1Thing you could do to address domestic violence:
#1Thing unites our individual voices while highlighting the power of our collective action.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Awareness Month Activities:
1) Purple Ribbons hung around town
2) October 1st - Town and County Proclamations
3) October 5th - Art Above Violence Live Performance and Auction
4) Clothesline Project - Hung at Town Hall and Ruby Sisson Library
By: Christine Soria
September 24, 2019
Rise Above Violence offers a variety of services that expand from crisis intervention, domestic violence education, to housing and legal advocacy. We attempt to provide services to someone who has experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault through each stage of their experience and times of healing. From the immediate crisis to long term support. One of the key components in our crisis intervention response is our 24/7 hotline.
Our crisis hotline is a 24/7 – 365 days a year confidential crisis line. Anyone can call our hotline if they have been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. The hotline is a service that gives people the space to access an advocate and supportive person at any time. The hotline will connect anyone to an advocate if they find themselves in crisis or in need of support. Our crisis line provides emotional support, safety planning, informing people of community resources, and talking to someone about their experience. If there is an immediate safety concern, we always refer to law enforcement or Archuleta Integrated Care, if appropriate.
What someone can expect when they call the hotline, (970) 264-9075, is to speak to the on call advocate. If the hotline is called during work week, the office line will ring and someone will speak to an available advocate at the office. If the hotline is accessed on nights or weekends they will be routed to our answering service. The answering service will take the name and number of the person and notify the on call advocate. The on-call advocate will call the person back as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know has ever experienced violence in your life and have found that it impacts you, please don’t hesitate to call our hotline.
Welcome to the Rise Above Violence Blog. Look for posts every month to learn about our services, our events and our staff.
Our Office Evolution
By Carmen Hubbs
August 30, 2019
Ages ago there was a fire. We had just begun to fully settle into what we proudly called home for the first time in nearly 20 years of operation…just to have it destroyed within 8 short months.
As the ‘almost original’ director, my first office was a desk at PLOPA alongside two police officers who had formally pulled me over as a teen driver just a few years prior. One in particular would regularly inform my father of my driving record with him. No, this wasn’t awkward AT ALL!
After 5 whirlwind months, I was relocated to a corner desk in the smoky break room of the Sheriff’s Office. I think their morning meeting was more like ‘rolled cigarette’ training and coffee. I no longer had a supervisor, just a board to guide me down a road they really weren’t sure how to navigate. I certainly didn’t either. Taking pity, the Department of Human Services took me and my new part-time staff member under their wings. I was given a new luxury office, while my staff got a transformed closet. Albeit two desks and 3 staff members eventually fit in there. Cozy anyone?
Another move exposed me, kindly called the fish bowl, and yes, people did knock on the windows at me! I feel for zoo animals. We were nothing but creative when it came to effectively running a now 4-woman, and handful of volunteers, operation in less than 150 square feet.
We’d finally outgrown our space, and maybe a little of our welcome. It was time to put our big britches on and pay some rent. We hosted our first open house, only because we could finally fit people. BBQ smokies and spinach dip galore! We were growing up!
Then came the glorious day of ownership. General contracting was certainly the ‘other duties as assigned’ portion of my job description. You want me to what? I survived and our offices were beautiful. Even better, we had room to grow. It was perfect.
Saturday, October 22, 2016 fire consumes our entire building. Truly there was NOTHING left of our new space. The only trace of our existence was a few charred Pagosa Duathlon racing bibs and some bookmarks.
Back to paying rent people. I found myself well beyond my ‘other duties as assigned’ navigating the insurance system. With more frustration then was necessary, and knowledge I hope to never use again, we were duly given what was deserved thanks to our Adobe Angel. I will say, it’s a little unusual paying off a loan for something that no longer existed.
Now debt free with some left over, it was time to shop for our new home…again. Déjà vu…I’m back to hiring contractors, picking out carpet and paint, installing shelving, and armed with drills and hex wrenches to assemble furniture, truly never thinking I’d have to do this…AGAIN.
As I write this, I happily reminisce our office evolution. From a one-woman, one desk corner to eight strong, bold advocates sharing a space created for healing, progression, empowerment and completion of mission, goals and ultimate visions of a violence-free Pagosa. I’m proud of where we’ve come, who we are, and who we have yet to be.