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Nonprofit hosting virtual events to raise awareness for Crime Victims Rights Week

A study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found an 8% increase in domestic violence incidents in the U.S. following stay-at-home orders.

COLORADO, USA — Randy Saucedo has spent the last 20 years advocating for crime and domestic violence victims. 

He's the director of victims services for Intervention, Inc., a nonprofit that provides people in Colorado with criminal justice services. 

Saucedo survived an abusive home as a child and lost his mother to domestic violence, and said he knows the journey to recovery can be difficult. 

"I was very fortunate to get the help that I did after everything happened to me," he said. "While that experience has certainly changed and molded my life, I know that there are people out there that had a similar experience." 

When stay-at-home orders were issued nationwide, Saucedo said resources for domestic violence victims became difficult to access. 

"Part of the power control dynamics of domestic violence is isolation," Saucedo said. "Isolating somebody, isolating that victim from their support networks, their friends, their family — all of that is cut off when you're being directed as a public safety measure to stay indoors."

RELATED: Mental health and addiction resources for Colorado residents

A study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice revealed an 8% increase in domestic violence incidents across the U.S. following nationwide stay-at-home orders last year.

Researchers collected data from police call logs, crime reports, emergency hotline registries, health records and other administrative documents. 

Saucedo said he encourages the community to help share resources with people who may be victims of domestic violence, knowing speaking up, asking for help, or leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult.  

"This might be the hardest thing that they’ve ever done in their lives, but ultimately, we would tell them, unless there is some type of intervention, this is only going to get worse."

The Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance is hosting a virtual ceremony to observe National Crime Victims Rights Week Monday, April 19 from 5-6:30 p.m. and on Thursday, April 22 at 3 p.m.

The 28th Annual Courage Walk will also be virtual on Saturday, April 24. Victim Outreach, Inc. will live stream the event on their Facebook page beginning at 11 a.m.

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