Letter: Online help for emotional abuse

I would like to thank Meredith Carroll and The Aspen Times for Tuesday’s column “Breaking the cycle of emotional abuse.” Unfortunately, “Alice’s” story is all too real for many in our community who struggle with their partners’ emotionally abusive behaviors, which often can be more effective, lasting and damaging than physical abuse. The sad reality is that for those who share children together, when a survivor chooses to leave their abusive relationship, they are still left to navigate the same patterns of abusive behavior within their co-parenting relationship.

As described in the story, the very nature of emotional abuse makes it hard to recognize as abusive and to anticipate the damage it can cause, both to the receiving partner and to children in the home. In response to a growing number of reports of family conflict in Pitkin County in the past six years, a collaborative awareness and outreach campaign called “Stop Fighting! It Hurts!” was created. The campaign’s websites, in English and in Spanish, provide useful information to help women and men recognize unhealthy relationships, learn how conflict in the home hurts their children and learn the difference between fighting fair versus emotional and verbal abuse.

I encourage all women and men to take the relationship self-test offered to determine if they are in an unhealthy relationship. For those seeking help, the website offers additional information, next steps and referrals to agencies such as Response, Mind Springs Health and Pitkin County Adult and Family Services.

Response is proud to be an active partner in the “Stop Fighting! It Hurts!” campaign and provides free and confidential support and advocacy for people who have experienced domestic violence (including emotional and verbal abuse) or sexual assault. Please visit our website at or call our hotline at 970-925-7233.

Jill Gruenberg

Program director, Response