Sid is the beloved pet of a survivor of domestic violence who also sustained multiple injuries at the hands of a batterer. Thanks to the generosity of our community, Sid is also a survivor because he received vital medical care following the assault. Donations covered the veterinarian costs, nearly $2,000, to help with Sid's recovery. With remaining donations, the SidFund was established five years ago and, thanks to ongoing donations, covers costs related to care for pets injured during a crime.
Citizens continue to donate to this program. Pets continue to receive care.
Public Safety, Disaster Services
Other Named Groups
VOI employes 6 full time advocates, 1 part time office manager, 1 part time IT person and 20 volunteers that provide law enforcement based advocacy to crime victims and citizens in distress in: Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Golden, Lakeside, Mountain View, Morrison, Colorado School of Mines, and Edgewater. An advocate is available 24/7 for crisis intervention at crime scenes, hospitals, and police departments. This program utilizes various community resources including Crime Victim Compensation and The Red Cross to help citizens recover from trauma.
VOI has a well known reputation for providing effective community support services to people impacted by trauma in 8 different jurisdictions throughout Jefferson County. VOI uses client surveys to measure the impact of our work.
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
VOI purchases teddy bears and asks community members to donate $20.00 for two bears. The donor gets one bear for themselves, "Officer Hugs", and the other bear goes in a police car to be given to traumatized children. That bear wears a t-shirt that says "I got hugs from the police department."
The bear program is well known and utilized throughout our jurisdictions.
Public, Society Benefit
Other Named Groups
VOI staff actively conducts trainings of police officers and community agencies. The trainings focus on how VOI can be utilized as well as the effects of trauma on individuals, families, and communities.
Police and community agencies have positive feedback about VOI. Additional agencies are reaching out and using VOI as a resource.
VOI actively particapates in numerous community committees, groups, coalitions, and meetings. These inlcude Jefferson County Child Protection Team, Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance, Jefferson County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Advisory Board, and the Jefferson and Gilpin Counties Community Crisis Response Team.
Victims are having a more positive experience when trying to access community resources.
Public Safety, Disaster Services
Staff recruits, screens, trains, supervises and recognizes at least 20 volunteer victim advocates who donate 14,000 hours annually (6.75 FTE). These volunteer advocates, along with staff, provide all of the direct services recognized to be important to the recovery of victims of violent crime. VOI helps more than 4,000 victims per per year, a task we would not be able to accomplish without this resource. New volunteers receive 50-hours of training on topics such as crisis response, criminal justice and cultural competency. Each is mentored by and shadows an experienced volunteer or staff person for several months before responding alone to crisis calls. Throughout their time with us, volunteers ride with law enforcement and attend monthly volunteer trainingsupport meetings. Our staff debrief with each volunteer following each crisis "call-out". Victim Services are available 24 hours, either by hot-line or on-scene as needed. Referrals come from law enforcement and others are identified through the review of all police reports in the cities we serve. Victims identified meeting the criteria for services are contacted by mail andor telephone and are notified of their rights and of services available. Victim advocates provide crisis intervention, risk assessment and inform victims about their rights as guaranteed by the Colorado Constitution, including the right to crime victim's compensation and the right to imput at critical stages, the first of which is advisement where bond is considered. We assist victims with providing that information to the district attorney's office. We also assist with the application for compensation, offer referrals to resources and counseling and help the victim with other aspects of recovery, looking at emotional, safety, financial and physical needs. We explain the criminal justice process and goals with the hope that understanding will increase not only their comfort level but also influence their willingness to participate. Our services continue throughout the criminal justice process and include accompaniment to investigative interviews, court or related meetings, assistance with witness preparation and advocacy. We assist victims after disposition with DOC notification and occasionally even through the appellate process. Police are mandated to call VOI to respond to all homicides, sexual assaults, domestic violence related crimes, child abuse, and other traumatic crimes such as robbery and felony assaults.
Our volunteers have a high retention rate. Feedback from law enforcement officers on our volunteers is overwhelmingly positive.