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Domestic Violence increasing year after year in Colorado Springs, local organizations are here to help

Domestic Violence
Posted at 7:13 PM, May 17, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Three gun-related incidents happened in El Paso County on Thursday. One of them was located at Bell Tower Heights Apartments. They are located near the intersection of East Fountain Boulevard and South Murray Boulevard.

Colorado Springs Police Department said they have arrested a man following a domestic disturbance. Police said when they arrived, they located a victim with injuries. The suspect then barricaded themselves in an apartment with a gun for hours. According to police, the suspect is in custody.

According to a US News and World Report, Colorado ranks as the third most dangerous state.

WATCH: Colorado ranks third most dangerous state in US News & World Report

Local organizations tell News5 these situations are becoming more common. The group Kingdom Builders said more people are reaching out to them for help in domestic violent situations.

“We are bursting at the seams right now of individuals coming in and seeking support,” said Maria Mendez, Adult Services Coordinator at Kingdom Builders.

The organization is located on the southeast side of Colorado Springs, and they help people in domestic violence situations.

“Primarily looking for housing, primarily looking for someone to talk to, looking for protection, looking to heal from domestic violence and like I have said, we have seen a big uptick in that,” said Mendez.

Kingdom Builders has resources for adults and children. Adults will work with advocates at Kingdom Builders through a 12 session program.

“We help them identify their barriers, remove their barriers, whether that's reaching out to other community partners, or whether that's something that we can do in house and just support them,” said Mendez.

She said every week, three to four new people come through their doors looking for help to get out of domestic violence situations, which is more than they've seen from last year.

Gabrielle Jenkins is the Youth Services Coordinator for Kingdom Builders. She said there is an increase in people reaching out for help because more people are learning about Kingdom Builders and other community resources that are there to help them.

“If anything, it (domestic violence) is only getting worse. I think what's allowing individuals to speak out is... they know that there are organizations who may be able to potentially help them,” said Jenkins.

The CEO of TESSA in Colorado Springs said domestic violence cases are rising year after year. They are averaging 1,200 calls a month into their safe line and more clients are coming into their office wanting help.

TESSA's Safe Line for advocacy/emergencies ONLY: (719)633-3819.

They said in the summer, since children are not in school, there are less eyes watching out for the health and well being of kids.

Both organizations said having a gun, weapons, and/or firearms in the home increases danger.

“We know that people are at most risk when they are about to leave. We know that one of the things on the danger assessment that we do is if there is a gun in the home, it increases lethality and increases the risk for lethality,” said Mendez.

They do safety planning with everyone they work with to find ways to protect themselves and how to prepare people to leave a violent situation. Another major risk factor for many people they help is financial instability.

“There's a lot of stress that goes with that, and a lot of triggers happen, and so, when we're seeing a difficulty with finances in our community, in our country that could potentially lead to the different aspects of domestic violence,” said Mendez.

Jenkins said there are warning signs people can look out for.

“For example, a lot of those warning signs, if you see a family member or friend or someone withdrawing from hanging out with their family being isolated, not talking to you as much... a lot of the jealousy and controlling a lot of these are major factors that a lot of us can see before it even gets to that point where there is violence that does occur,” said Jenkins.

TESSA and Kingdom Builders are here to help.

“A lot of people in our community are experiencing this and there is help,” Mendez said.

People can find more information and get connected to resources on TESSA and Kingdom Builders websites.
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