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Domestic violence prevention is everyone’s obligation

Domestic violence is a scourge that Colorado is determined to overcome. People in positions of administrative power may have a level of responsibility to take action when they are on notice that someone under their review or control may be committing DV. It is no longer only the violent actor who can suffer the consequence of his actions, but so can those who may otherwise turn a blind eye.

Recently, as reported by CBS Denver, administrators of the University of Colorado may be responsible for allegedly not adequately addressing the fact that there was an ongoing investigation probe against one of the University’s assistant coaches. The coach’s ex-girlfriend accused him of hitting and choking her in 2016, and she purportedly notified the school officials. Nonetheless, the assistant coach received a promotion at the end of December prior to an upcoming bowl game. Then, in early January, a court judge issued a restraining order against that coach, and it was only shortly thereafter that the school suspended the assistance coach, who ultimately resigned later that month.

As a result of not reporting the DV allegations in a timely many and other failures, despite notice from the victim, the punished individuals of the school include the Chancellor, the Buffalos’ head coach and the athletic director. The consequences included suspension for the Chancellor and required $100,000 in donations to anti-DV groups by the coach and athletic director.

The State of Colorado is also taking steps to get a better handle on domestic violence. It is creating a domestic violence fatality board that will review findings from DV fatalities to create more effective policies and devise better training for professionals in this field. The plan is to study the background circumstances to the fatalities, such as the situations and events in the home, work and school environments.

Some other states are taking measures to allow for better intra-state sharing of information on DV incidents, such as a statewide registry to include all who were the subject of a court order of protection. Broader access to such facts will hopefully allow potential victims to make informed decisions about whether to get into or stay in a relationship.

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