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Pueblo, We Have a Problem: . Domestic Violence Epidemic. Six different people . Connie Rangel, age 46, County/Blende mother or four Gisela Strait, age 39, Eastside, three children Shannon White-Yowell, age 36, University Park, one child Regina Sanchez, 43, Eastside, mother of two

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Pueblo, We Have a Problem:

Domestic Violence Epidemic


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Six different people

  • Connie Rangel, age 46, County/Blende mother or four

  • Gisela Strait, age 39, Eastside, three children

  • Shannon White-Yowell, age 36, University Park, one child

  • Regina Sanchez, 43, Eastside, mother of two

  • Yvonne Padilla, age 46, Downtown/Eastside married 20 years, three children

  • Amanda Petek, age 19, Southside, five months pregnant


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What they have in common:

  • Connie Rangel and friend, killed by estranged husband (2001)

  • Gisela Strait, killed by husband (2002)

  • Shannon White-Yowell, murder-suicide by husband (2003)

  • Regina Sanchez, murder-suicide by husband (2003)

  • Yvonne Padilla, died from gunshot to the head, shot by husband who later committed suicide in jail (2004)

  • Amanda Petek, murder-suicide by husband (2004)


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Domestic Violence Homicides in Pueblo

  • 34 domestic violence homicides between 1990 and 2004

  • Average of 2 to 3 per year

  • In the first half of 2005, 5 homicides, both male and female, appear to be linked to domestic violence


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Domestic Violence:

  • Directed at someone with whom there has been an intimate relationship

  • Act or threatened act of violence upon a person or property

  • Used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation or revenge


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It’s Not Just Homicides

  • Homicides get our attention, but are less than 1% of domestic violence cases per year

  • Homicides are seldom the first instance of violence in the home – usually builds for years

  • Domestic violence often not limited to one victim – abusers bring the same behavior to multiple relationships


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Pueblo & Domestic Violence

  • Very high incidence – conservatively 50% more than national averages

    • Average of 1,500 cases per year reported to the DA’s Office – one incident for every 100 people in Pueblo

    • 1,000 cases per year with enough evidence to prosecute – 1 incident per every 150 people

    • National rate: 1 incident for every 256 people


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Pueblo & Domestic Violence

Fairly steady at 1,500 cases per year brought to the District Attorney


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Pueblo & Domestic Violence

Increasing intensity, with a shift toward criminal cases.


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Pueblo & Domestic Violence

In the first half of 2005:

  • The YWCA served:

    • 73 women and 55 children in their shelter

    • 1,240 phone calls for assistance

    • 375 adults and 122 children needing counseling

  • ACOVA served just over 900 victims of domestic abuse; more than 60% of ACOVA’s calls involve domestic violence.

  • FAST TRACK court program processed 261 misdemeanor, mostly first offense cases – a continuous influx of new abuse.



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Impact on the Community

Children are often the silent victims of domestic violence

  • In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused

  • 40-60% of men who abuse women also abuse children

  • Fathers who abuse mothers are twice as likely to seek sole custody

  • Boys who observe domestic violence are 50% more likely to abuse when they become adults


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What can we do?

We need to utilize and support existing

structures to combat domestic violence

  • Mandatory arrest, vigorous prosecution

  • FAST TRACK court system

  • Shelter, counseling for women & children in danger

  • Victim’s advocates

  • Collaboration among agencies: Domestic Violence Task Force


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What can we do?

Make a community-wide commitment not to tolerate domestic violence

  • Starts with awareness of the problem

  • Has to move beyond that to a cultural shift

  • Leads to action


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There’s a Role for Everyone

  • Family

  • Friends

  • Neighbors

  • Schools

  • Employers/Co-workers

  • Churches and clergy

  • Agencies

  • Law enforcement, criminal justice system

  • Legislators


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Some First Steps:

Attend the Community Forum September 15, 6:30, Pueblo County Conference Room, on Santa Fe between 10th and 11th Streets.

Join the DV Task Force, and/or support it by attending the Ghost Walk fundraiser

Participate in the YWCA’s Candle Lighting/ National Week Without Violence, October 17

Participate in ACOVA’s Empty Chair campaign