15 Feb 2012

Giving a Stalking Victim Her Life Back: S.T.O.P in Action in Colorado

This Week, The STOP-Funded Family Tree’s Women In Crisis Shelter Helps a Survivor of Domestic Violence & Stalking Reclaim Her Life 

(Jefferson County, Colorado)  Family Tree’s Women In Crisis (WIC) is a Colorado STOP subgrantee recipient that provides shelter, advocacy, and other services to survivors of domestic violence and their children in Jefferson County.  Elaine*, a client of  WIC, knows what it's like to be stalked - to catch her breath at even the smallest sound, to look over her shoulder at the bus stop, to dread answering the phone or hearing footsteps on the front porch.  For too long, she feared for her life and for the lives of her three children.  She had good reason to be afraid. 
For years, her boyfriend Jim* abused her. It started out with control. He insisted on monitoring her phone calls, choosing her friends, and isolating her from her family. Then the abuse escalated to physical attacks.  When he threw a butcher knife at her, Elaine knew she was in real danger.  With the assistance of Family Tree's legal advocacy program, Elaine was able to obtain a protection order.  
Even after the protection order was in place, Jim continued to stalk her. At the bus stop, at her job, even in her front yard — he was there: watching, waiting, biding his time.  Elaine sought shelter at Women in Crisis and stayed for almost two months while Jim was in hiding.  After a 30-hour manhunt, Jim was apprehended by the police.  He went to trial and was found guilty on most counts. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, where he sits today.  Today, Elaine is back in her own home, working at a good job, and feeling safe.   

View the S.T.O.P. in Action film to take a deeper look at the promising S.T.O.P. funded work. For more information on ALSO’s STOP Technical Assistance to Administrators Resource (STAAR) Project, click here. Make sure to check back next week to see if your state is featured or follow us on Twitter for these and other updates.


*Not their real names.