The Initiative

A nonprofit organization

$9,861 raised by 35 donors

99% complete

$10,000 Goal

Founded over 36 years ago, The Initiative is the only organization in Colorado that focuses our services on the intersection of cross-disability issues and abuse. Through our advocacy and outreach programs, The Initiative strives to create an abuse-free culture for all. Established in 1985, we are committed to empowering victims and creating a bridge for people with disabilities facing intimate partner violence (IPV). Our mission is to provide comprehensive support services to individuals with disabilities experiencing IPV, offering crisis intervention, counseling, legal advocacy, and community outreach. Holistic care is at the heart of what we do, tailoring support to address the unique challenges faced by survivors and empowering them toward self-resiliency. While our roots run deep, we are expanding our efforts into rural areas, responding to the heightened vulnerability of individuals facing IPV in underserved regions. Your donation is a lifeline for survivors, fueling critical services and contributing to outreach, advocacy, and support for both existing and newly identified underserved communities. Funds raised directly address the pressing need for sustained support services, enabling us to build safer, more resilient communities. Join us in creating a society free from the shackles of intimate partner violence. Your support is a beacon of hope for countless individuals and families. Together, let's make a difference!


The Initiative is dedicated to empowering victims and creating a bridge to close the gap for people with disabilities through the discovery of self-resiliency. We achieve this by providing essential support and services.

Background Statement

In 1985, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Sharon Hickman, established The Initiative. It all began with a commitment to support women with disabilities, where Sharon noticed a distressing trend – abuse was a pervasive issue in the lives of these women. To address this urgent need, she launched 'HOW,' Handicapped Organized Women, a direct service program dedicated to empowering women with disabilities.

Sharon's work revealed a critical gap in services. Existing domestic violence support structures were primarily designed for able-bodied women, leaving women with disabilities marginalized and underserved. Recognizing the systemic issues that needed to be addressed, she took the bold step of founding the 'Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities.' This marked the beginning of a comprehensive outreach program that not only provided vital support to victims but also tackled the systemic challenges.

As time passed, the organization identified the need to expand its services. In 2016, it became evident that the name 'Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities' no longer fully captured the scope of our mission. We extended eligibility to include victims of various abusive circumstances, such as sexual abuse, stalking, caregiver abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking, while also serving individuals of all genders with disabilities. After 32 years of tireless dedication, The Initiative embarked on a rebranding journey that would authentically represent our multifaceted work. Thus, 'The Initiative' was born.

It's important to note that 'Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities' remains our legal name, reflecting our historical commitment. However, we now operate under 'The Initiative' to better encapsulate the breadth of our services and advocacy. With your support, we aim to continue our vital work in empowering individuals with disabilities and addressing the systemic challenges they face.

Organization Data


Organization name

The Initiative

other names

The Initiative, Domestic Violence Initiative for Women with Disabilities, DVI

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy

Organization Size

Medium Organization


6825 E. Tenneessee
Denver, CO 80224


6825 E. Tenneessee, 475
Denver, CO 80224

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US





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