My colleague once told me – back in the day when contact information was kept on rolodex cards – that her organization had four rolodexes full of the people they had worked with who were experiencing relationship violence, while they only had one rolodex with the names of the people who were using abusive behaviors in all those relationships. This made me realize how important it is to not just provide help to those experiencing the violence, but to work with those causing the harm.
All relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to abusive with unhealthy somewhere in the middle. At the one end, abusive relationships impact the communities in which we all live, play, work and raise our children.
Welcome to Stand Up Colorado – the Movement to End Relationship Violence. We believe:
- Relationship violence can happen to anyone
- The responsibility for ending relationship violence lies first with those using abusive behaviors
- Change is possible
- It is vital that all members of the community take action to help end relationship violence and change the culture that allows it to exist
Here’s our message: Relationship violence is not OK. It is OK to ask for help.
First, Stand Up Colorado is working to make sure that everyone recognizes relationship violence. Not just the physical kind, but also the emotional, sexual, financial, digital, spiritual, and reproductive types of abuse.
Then, if you are someone using abusive behaviors, Stand Up Colorado will help you find the resources to help you change those behaviors. If you are someone seeing the abuse in another relationship, Stand Up Colorado will provide a wide range of options for how to intervene with either the person causing harm or the person experiencing the violence. If you are experiencing abuse in your relationship, we will refer you to the people who can give you support and resources.
Relationship violence is not inevitable. It is preventable. Together, we will create a future free from relationship violence in Colorado and beyond. If you would like to Stand Up and take on a leadership role in your community, please reach out to me at Ellen@StandUpCO.org.