Public, Society Benefit
The Colorado Latinx Leadership Network (CLLN) provides professional development opportunities and support to bilingual/bicultural Latinx advocates in order to reduce turnover of these advocates and, thereby, strengthen services for Latinx survivors in Colorado and increase access to culturally appropriate services. Often, there may only be one bilingual/bicultural Latinx staff person within mainstream sexual assault and domestic violence service organizations, which can lead to isolation and burn out. Additionally, because of their specialized skillset, many bilingual/bicultural Latinx staff may not have access to as many opportunities for professional development or to advance beyond the role of Bilingual/Latinx Advocate
Throughout the 12-month program, participants engage in training and discussion on topics such as leadership, management skills, organizational communication skills, program development and evaluation, community outreach, financial management, human resources, and self-care. Activities include 3 in-person meetings/trainings, monthly phone/web-based meetings, and one-on-one mentoring.
The objectives of the CLLN are:
- Build upon and enhance the professional capacity of Latinx advocates in anti-violence against women programs.
- Create a community of support and professional network for leaders, aimed at reducing isolation, maximizing skills, development, information-sharing, and communication.
- Reflect anti-oppression/anti-racism principles in daily operations of anti-violence programs.
- Model leadership support, ally-informed advocacy, and culturally relevant services to communities of color and other underserved populations for local programs within our state.
- Enhance hiring, retention, and promotion of staff from underrepresented populations.
- Optimize the success and effectiveness of emerging leaders by providing opportunities to impact spheres of influence and communities through a variety of engaging CCASA programs and activities.
Feedback from CLLN participants:
"Thank you for taking the time on making this gathering happen."
"Gracias. Muy importante e interesante."
"Thank you for having us and making a space especially for us. This is an awesome opportunity!"
"Great opportunity for Latinas to come together and explore their leadership strengths and potential."
"Enjoy every single thing about the training. I love meeting GREAT & AMAZING Latina leaders! Thank you!"
"You validated some very powerful points. Gave voice to so many thoughts that I think Latinas in general have but that we seldomly talk about."
Crime & Legal
CCASA provides valuable educational programs, trainings, and expert consultation to member programs and other sexual assault victim service providers in Colorado. CCASA co-hosts (with Violence Free Colorado - formerly the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence) the annual Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference as well as hosts an annual meeting for college campus professionals. Additionally, CCASA provides regular webinars as well as individualized training and technical assistance for member programs, community partners, and other professionals who respond to survivors of sexual assault. CCASA also distributes a handbook for survivors, and brochures about understanding unwanted sexual experiences; alcohol, drugs and sexual assault; and reporting options. All of these resources are available in both English and Spanish.
In 2018, CCASA:
• Provided 35 trainings to 1,039 professionals in order to help ensure a consistent, comprehensive, and victim-centered response to sexual assault.
• Responded to 206 requests for technical assistance on sexual assault related issues.
• Co-hosted the 7th annual Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference with over 350 participants from every region of Colorado as well as other states.
• Distributed 5,115 copies of resource materials, including brochures, handbooks, manuals, reports, and videos, in English and Spanish, regarding sexual assault, available services, and resources for responding to sexual assault.
• Developed a new Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Toolkit that explains PREA and how community-based advocates can respond to victims who are incarcerated.
• Developed a new Youth Survivor Handbook with information and resources for teens.
• Developed 3 online training modules for advocates who work with sexual assault survivors, including one in Spanish.
Crime & Legal
Crime/ Abuse Victims
CCASA works to ensure that state and federal laws, policies, and practices support survivors of sexual violence, provide adequate funding for sexual assault service providers, hold offenders accountable, and strive to end sexual violence in our communities. In addition to drafting, reviewing, and lobbying for legislation and policies, CCASA also works with state and federal government and nonprofit agencies to advocate for the needs of survivors and our member agencies. CCASA's goal is to ensure that victim and community safety are prioritized at the statewide systems level.
CCASA participates on a wide range of statewide committees, taskforces, and boards in an effort to forge collaborative relationships with other key stakeholders, including the:
o Colorado Human Trafficking Council, Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs
o Colorado SANE/SAFE Project Advisory Committee, UCHealth's Memorial Hospital
o Colorado Sex Offender Management Board, Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs
o Comprehensive Human Sexuality Education Oversight Entity
o Crime Victim Services Funding Advisory Board, Colorado Department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice, Office for Victims Programs
o Domestic Violence Program Funding Advisory Committee, Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Children, Youth & Families
o Ending Violence Against Women Project Advisory Committee, Colorado District Attorneys' Council
o Sexual Violence Prevention Program Advisory Committee, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Violence and Injury Prevention-Mental Health Promotion Branch
Highlights of CCASA's state policy work include:
• HB88-1089: criminalized rape within marriage
• SB95-153: Made the communications between a sexual assault victim and victim advocate confidential
• HB98-1156: created lifetime supervision for sex offenders
• HB02-1396: eliminated the criminal statute of limitations for child sex abuse
• SB02-010: created the sex offender registry
• SB02-210: added clergy members to the list of persons required to report suspicion of child abuse or neglect
• SB05-138: clarified and strengthened Colorado's criminal "rape shield" law, protecting victim's sexual history
• SB07-060: ensured victims of sexual assault have access to information about emergency contraception
• SB10-066: clarified mandatory reporting laws to ensure confidentiality for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse
• HB13-1020: created new mandates on time frames and criteria for rape kit testing as well as a process for local law enforcement to inventory "backlogged" sexual assault evidence and then submit that evidence for testing
• HB13-1163: created the Sexual Assault Victim Emergency (SAVE) Payment Program to provide financial assistance to help pay for costs associated with obtaining a medical forensic exam
• HB14-1162: created civil legal protections for sex assault victims who have a child conceived as a result of sexual assault
• HB14-1273: created the Human Trafficking Council
• HB15-1220: required all public institutions of higher education (and private institutions of higher education that enter into a performance contract with the state) to enter into at least one memorandum of understanding with a nearby medical facility or facility that employs persons trained in sexual assault patient care and sexual assault forensic evidence collection; and to have a sexual assault training and response policy that includes training for staff, referral to victim advocates, and transportation assistance to the medical facility
• HB15-1273: added acts of sexual violence on school grounds, in a school vehicle, or at a school activity or sanctioned event to the current list of conduct and discipline code violations that a school is required to report as part of the safe school reporting requirements
• SB15-020: created a position within the Colorado School Safety Resource Center focused on child sexual abuse prevention
• SB15-128: created an anonymous reporting option for sexual assault victims who wish to have medical forensic evidence collected (rape kit), while maintaining anonymity from law enforcement
• HB16-1260: extended the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault of an adult from 10 to 20 years
• HB17-1035: enabled victims of sexual assault and stalking, who feel unsafe in their home, to terminate their lease without penalty
• HB17-1302: protected juvenile victims of privacy violations, while holding those who engage in harmful sexting behaviors accountable
• In 2018, revised the Colorado Department of Insurance rules pertaining to explanation of benefits in order to ensure that the protected health information of victims receiving treatment is not sent to the primary policyholder
• SB19-007: created protections for students who experience sexual misconduct at institutions of higher education in Colorado so they have access to safe and meaningful education
• HB19-1032: required public schools that offer comprehensive human sexuality education teach consent
CCASA has also advocated at the federal level:
• to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides critical funding for victim services across Colorado
• to maintain existing federal Title IX protections for sexual assault victims in educational institutions
• against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' proposal to eliminate the rights of transgender, intersex, and non-binary people
• against harmful federal immigration policies that separate children and parents, and gut asylum laws that protect victims fleeing violence