When fear comes from the home

Since the Sept. 11 attacks and throughout this current time of war, many reports and stories have shown that people have found added comfort and solace at home with their families.

Yet for thousands of people, they don't find that comfort at home.

Home is where their fear lies and ugly anger exists.

These people are victims of domestic abuse, and every time they return home whether it be from work, school or the store they go home scared.

Scared that a spouse or parent might be in a bad mood, and want to take that mood out on him or her.

The Associated Press recently compiled information about how to educate people on methods of combatting domestic violence on a CD-ROM created by the Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team.

The CD-ROM is a hit, and has been requested from communities nationwide as well as communities in China, Taiwan, Germany and Bangladesh.

Kudos to the department for taking an extra step and using modern technology to try and remedy the war on the home front.

But the sad part is it took a $200,000 grant to develop it.

Thousands of dollars were spent to educate people on how to protect themselves from their "loved ones."

It's asinine that this even has to be done.

And unlike a war overseas, drive-by shootings and other violent occurrences, people in Moffat County don't have the luxury of saying, "At least it's not happening in Northwest Colorado."

Because it is.

I witnessed the effects of domestic violence firsthand when I had the opportunity to sit in an Advocates Crisis Support Services domestic violence support group last fall.

I witnessed women who came to a weekly meeting to talk with one another, because they were each other's only support.

Where many people have the luxury of turning to a family member for support during scary, unsure times like the present, these women couldn't turn to a family member, because the family member is the cause of constant fear.

These women, who left a lasting impact on me and my outlook on domestic abuse, are just a small sample of those who experience domestic violence in Moffat County.

Last year Advocates Crisis Support Services received calls from 356 different people.

It's astonishing that 356 different people in a conservative community that seems to exemplify the coziness of "small town" America, have to use a hotline to seek support from someone who cares.

And after speaking with and listening to the women in the support group, I learned that the Advocates workers and volunteers do care.

"The Advocates are the best people in the world," one woman said. "I would trust them with my life."

I'm continually dumbfounded at how people can abuse their loved ones.

Most people wouldn't dare punch a stranger, yet so many are capable of striking those who live in their own home.

Out of this situation comes one of the most vivid examples of good and evil that can be found in this world.

On the evil side, there are the barbaric idiots who beat up the ones they are supposed to love.

But on the other side, are the Advocates, who care enough about people to face ugly domestic situations everyday and help those who's lives often times really do depend on it.

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