Colorado survivors of domestic violence can leave their homes for safety reasons

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s Department of Human Services is making it abundantly clear that survivors of domestic violence can leave their homes for safety reasons during the state’s safer-at-home policy going in effect April 26.

“The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority, and everyone who needs to leave their home to stay safe can and should do so. That may mean you leave to make a phone call or find temporary housing,” said Michelle Barnes, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services.

“We know that people who perpetrate violence in their relationship may use misinformation and lies to control their partners and create fear. It is acceptable to leave your home — and to take any dependents like children or parents with you — in order to ask for help or escape violence.”

Support is available 24/7 through the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233. The line can connect people to their local, free and confidential domestic violence service provider. Survivors can also text “loveis” to 22522 or visit thehotline.org.

Colorado officials say isolation is a primary tool used by abusers to control others, using the fear of breaking the law or contracting the virus to stop the survivor from seeking help. But help is still available.

“Community organizations are working harder than ever to support survivors,” said Brooke Ely-Milen, director of the CDHS Domestic Violence Program. “We anticipate additional funds from the federal CARES Act to allocate to organizations in need. Coloradans can also help by calling their local service provider to donate much-needed personal care supplies, vouchers for hotel stays or personal protective equipment.”

A list of local domestic violence service organizations is available here.

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