Weekly news roundup

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A win for victims of abuse at the Colorado Supreme Court

On Monday, May 21, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of victims of abuse, stating that Colorado courts have jurisdiction to order protective orders against nonresidents who are threatening former partners currently living in Colorado.

In 2016, Megan Parocha first obtained a restraining order from the Boulder County court against her husband who lives in New Jersey, alleging a cycle of abuse in their marriage that caused her to flee to Colorado, where he continued to harass and threaten her through texts and FaceTime calls. The court denied a permanent protection order, however, after the husband appealed stating that under due process, Colorado has no legal jurisdiction over him since he lives out-of-state.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument. “She should not have had to wait until he arrived at her door to seek the court’s protection from his threats in light of the history of violence and coercion in their marriage,” the ruling states. It has already been cited in another permanent protection order case.

Nationwide, domestic violence statistics are staggering: Approximately 3 women in the U.S. are killed every day by either current or former romantic partners. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 1 in 3 women experience physical abuse by a partner and 1 in 4 face sexual violence in their lifetime. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime in the U.S.

The case was supported with briefs from several Boulder County nonprofits, including Safe Shelter of Saint Vrain Valley and Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence.

Joel Dyer

Opening of new shelter bed location in Boulder signals latest in City’s homeless services overhaul

Overnight sheltering for people experiencing homelessness began this week at Bridge House Path to Home Navigation Services, which is located in the former Robb’s Boulder Music building on 30th Street.

The site already serves as the City’s base for coordinated entry, a system managed by the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and helps the city identify homeless people looking to use city services and navigate them to the appropriate facility or caretaker.

Having navigation services and a shelter at the same location was a key piece in the city’s Homelessness Strategy, which was discussed and defined last year. Up until now, 50 shelter beds were available on a nightly basis at rotating faith centers throughout town — those beds will now move to the Path to Home Navigation Center.

Faith centers will still provide shelter during severe weather.

The City also released statistics indicating early success for the new homeless services program. They cite 189 people that successfully exited homeless services; 86 were housed, 18 moved to long-term programming, like the Bridge House Ready to Work program; seven entered substance abuse treatment, one reunited with a family member and 77 were “reunified” with support systems outside of Boulder.