In order to effectively address the victimizations Tu Casa serves, the organization partners with other service providers across the San Luis Valley region and beyond. By creating a multi-disciplinary approach, where relevant partners are brought to the table to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse, Tu Casa seeks to create a comprehensive, victim-centered response that avoids revictimization of the survivor.
Background on the CCR Strategy
Coordinated Community Response (CCR) is an intervention strategy developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) in Duluth, Minnesota. DAIP found that when different members of the community coordinated their efforts to protect battered women and hold batterers accountable, these efforts were more successful. Coordination helps to ensure that the system works faster and better for victims, that victims are protected and receive the services they need, and that batterers are held accountable and cease their abusive behavior. A critical first step toward coordinating responses is developing a common understanding of domestic violence.
CCR programs often work to create a network of support for victims and their families that is both available and accessible. Coordinated community response programs often use the full extent of the community's legal system to protect victims, hold batterers accountable, and enforce the community's intolerance of domestic violence. Coordinated community response programs also often engage the entire community in efforts to change the social norms and attitudes that contribute to domestic violence.
The San Luis Valley Anti-Violence Task Force (SLV AVTF)The San Luis Valley Anti-Violence Task Force (SLV AVTF) is an interagency effort to change the climate of tolerance of domestic violence by institutionalizing practices that centralize victim safety and offender accountability in domestic violence-related cases. The three tasks of the Task Force are to identify gaps, identify and build in whatever changes are needed into infrastructure, and assess and evaluate the results of those interventions. Currently, the task force consists of three committees, each focusing on a different priority. The three committees are offender accountability in treatment, victim and dual arrests, and community and professional education around domestic violence.
In an effort to educate the community, the SLV AVTF coordinates 12 lunch N learns per month on various topics ranging from domestic violence and sexual assault to suicide education and prevention to immigration issues to bullying. For more information or to be added to the e-mail list, please e-mail Asha@slvtucasa.net.
Nursing Department Training - This training is provided to various nursing classes at ASU and TSJC. It address domestic violence and sexual assault dynamics, mandatory reporting, what to look for, and Tu Casa's services.
Bringing in the Bystander - This training is geared towards college-age students, and encourages bystanders to intervene when witnessing a possible sexual assault situation. The training examines the definition of sexual assault, situations in which intervention is needed, safe ways to intervene, challenges to intervening, and Tu Casa's services.
Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs)
Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) are multi-disciplinary, interagency sexual assault intervention systems composed of public and private partners working as a team to provide a coordinated, collaborative response to sexual assault. There are currently five active SART's in the San Luis Valley: Alamosa County SART; Conejos County SART; Costilla County SART; Rio Grande/Mineral Counties SART; and Saguache County SART. SARTs are interventions that were created to coordinate efforts of the legal, medical, mental health systems, and rape crisis centers, in order to improve victims’ help-seeking experiences and legal outcomes. SARTs have been adopted by many communities across the U.S., and are widely espoused as best practice.
The teams often consist of law enforcement officers, District Attorneys, therapists/counselors, Title IX coordinators, victims advocates (law enforcement and community based), child welfare caseworkers, immigrant resource advocates, sexual offender treatment providers, medical providers and/or the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) Program. SARTs have proven to be effective in aiding in sexual assault investigations because the team holds one another accountable for their responsibilites in sexual assault investigations. It has been shown to improve outcomes for investigations and prosecution.