No more: Moffat County commissioners declare March 24 to 30 domestic violence week
The Moffat County Board of County Commissioners wants to do its part to combat domestic violence in the Yampa Valley.
During their Tuesday, March 19 meeting, commissioners declared March 24 to 30 as “No More” week in Moffat County. The week will be spearheaded by Beka Warren, executive director of Open Heart Advocates, which helps battered residents in abusive relationships get the help and services they need to change their lives for the better. Warren will travel to schools across Moffat County to serve food and educate kids about domestic violence.
According to an October 2015 report in the Craig Press, the Craig Police Department received at least 270 domestic violence calls that year.
After years of work as a medical professional, deputy coroner, and community leader, Warren is preparing to retire at the end of this month. Her service to the community and as part of Memorial Regional Hospital — most recently as vice president of quality — was recognized by the MRH Board of Trustees Dec. 20 with a bouquet of flowers and an art glass sculpture of a glowing jellyfish.
According to Warren, one in three American women have been victims of domestic violence while one in four women are victims of sexual assault. She said men are also often victimized.
Warren also maintains at least two people on call at all times to answer a hotline for domestic or sexual abuse victims.
“Our service is really to be with them and work with them and let them know what their choices are,” Warren said.
County Commissioners also currently lease an 11-bed shelter facility to Open Heart Advocates for $1 per year, where residents seeking protection can escape potential abusers and get back on their feet.
“Our advocates right now have a caseload of about 56 families that we work with on a regular basis,” Warren said at Tuesday morning’s commissioner meeting.
Considering the staggering number of domestic violence victims across the country, especially children, Commissioner Ray Beck thanked Warren.
“15.5 million children were exposed to domestic violence every year. That’s horrific,” Beck said. “Thank you for all you do for our community.”
Commissioner Don Cook also thanked Warren for her dedication.
“She’s a very dedicated community servant,” Cook said. “She’s been our deputy coroner for many years, which means many times she was the acting coroner.”
Sasha Nelson contributed to this report. Contact Clay Thorp at 970-875-1795 or cthorp@CraigDailyPress.com.