Public, Society Benefit
The Colorado Latin@ Leadership Network (CLLN) provides professional development opportunities and support to bilingual/bicultural Latin@ advocates in order to reduce turnover of these advocates and, thereby, strengthen services for Latin@ survivors in Colorado and increase access to culturally appropriate services. Often, there may only be one bilingual/bicultural Latin@ 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 Latin@ staff may not have access to as many opportunities for professional development or to advance beyond the role of Bilingual/Latin@ 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 Latin@ 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 seldomely 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 CCADV) the annual Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference as well as hosts an annual Campus Meeting and annual Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Institute. 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 2016, almost 300 advocates and other service providers attended the Colorado Advocacy in Action Conference, over 50 campus and community professionals attended the annual Campus Meeting, and over 60 multi-disciplinary professionals attended the annual Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Institute. CCASA has also offered webinars on the following topics:
- engaging men in work to end sexual assault
- legislative changes affecting sexual assault response and prevention
- preventing sexual assault
- sexual assault services and programming
- sex trafficking
- youth sexting
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:
- SANE/SAFE Advisory Board
- Sex Offender Management Board
- Human Trafficking Council
- District Attorneys Council's Ending Violence Against Women Program Advisory Board
- Division of Criminal Justice's Crime Victim Services Funding Advisory Board
- Department of Public Health & Environment's Sexual Violence Prevention Program Advisory Board
- many other ad hoc workgroups, committees, and taskforces
in 2015 & 2016, CCASA participated in the above listed boards, taskforces, and committees as well as weighed in on discussions about body worn cameras for law enforcement and sex offender registration for juveniles. CCASA also led and participated in efforts to pass legislation that:
- enables victims of sexual assault and stalking who feel unsafe in their home to terminate leases without penalty
- protects youth who engage in consensual sexting, while holding those who engage in harmful behaviors accountable
- extends the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault of an adult from 10 to 20 years
- treats the trafficking of children as child abuse
- creates an anonymous reporting option, which enables survivors of sexual assault to have medical forensic evidence collected without having to report to law enforcement; allowing them time to consider their options without losing valuable evidence should they chose to move forward in the criminal justice system
- creates a position within the Colorado School Safety Resource Center that can provide training, technical assistance, and resources for school personnel and parents regarding the awareness and prevention of child sexual abuse and assault
- requires campuses to develop memorandums of understanding with nearby medical facilities that employ persons trained in sexual assault patient care and sexual assault forensic evidence collection; to post information on the institution's website concerning where such care may be obtained; 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