Website aims to curb Pitkin County area domestic violence |

Website aims to curb Pitkin County area domestic violence

Creators of a website with a goal to curb local domestic violence incidents and cast more attention on the issue addressed Pitkin County commissioners Tuesday.

The key people behind the website updated the commissioners on a three-year public-awareness campaign concerning domestic violence, which began last year. The county budgeted $70,000 for the campaign in 2014, of which $8,165 already has been spent on brand developing and communications.

The website is the latest initiative of the campaign, spurred in part by an increase in child welfare referrals to Pitkin County Adult and Family Services. County officials estimate that 60 percent of the 133 referrals in 2014, compared to 59 in 2008, were due to domestic violence.

“The child welfare referral calls had gone up 125 percent during that same period of time,” said Nan Sundeen, director of Pitkin County Health and Human Services.

Law enforcement agencies in Aspen, Basalt, Pitkin County and Snowmass Village combined to report 49 domestic violence arrests in 2009, 64 in 2010, 40 in 2011, 46 in 2012, 57 in 2013 and 41 in 2014. Domestic violence calls totaled 122 in 2009, 168 in 2010, 142 in 2011, 149 in 2012, 113 in 2013 and 154 in 2014, according to county data.

The website’s impact remains to be seen. Logan Hood, executive director of the nonprofit Response, which provides aid for victims of domestic assault, told commissioners they plan to track the impact of the website.

“We’re really going to take a pulse on this to see if we’re in front of the issues,” she said.

The site addresses conflict and fighting at home and lists agencies and programs that can help victims of domestic violence.

Marketing programs for the website include print and radio advertisements that are being rolled out this month. Commissioner Rachel Richards suggested placing posters promoting the website in public places such as schools and other places younger people convene.

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