One of my closest friends is an artist, a kind and compassionate woman who seeks peace and smiles everywhere she goes. She is also a survivor of horrific domestic violence. Her abuser tried to murder her. He violated his restraining order 84x in Routt County.
Usually, when we talk about high crime rates, everyone points to Denver. Our streets are cleaner, our people are friendly, and our schools don’t have metal detectors at the entrance. We don’t think about crime until it hits close to home, and then those who see it up close know that our system is failing victims. The truth is, we have a dark way of handling domestic violence around these parts. Abusers are often let out on the streets on PR bonds, with no ankle monitor. They are free as they keep their victims in a prison of terror.
Local law enforcement feels helpless. I talked to one officer in Steamboat Springs who said, “The ink isn’t even dry on the arrest paperwork before they’re let out again.” What a thankless job. While rehabilitation of abusers is possible at times, the needs of victims must always come first, and law enforcement needs to be supported.
Here are some more examples: “In Routt County, 336 domestic violence cases from 2018 to 2020 resulted in the defendant being issued a PR bond…” Failure to protect: A system meant to support defendants often backfires on victims of domestic violence | SteamboatToday.com
“‘a piece of paper won’t stop a gun or a knife blade. I’ve seen the scenario many times where someone gets arrested for domestic violence, they get out, and they’re arrested again within days,’ Karzen said. ‘At that point, the victim is terrorized, the victim loses trust in the system, and then the offender, to the extent there was hope of recovery and rehabilitation, is now facing more serious charges.’ Oak Creek shooter had history of domestic violence, was repeatedly let out on PR bond | SteamboatToday.com
PR bonds should never be issued for violent crime. The main reason we keep violent criminals behind bars is to keep victims safe. Routt County is my backyard, and I’ve observed this locally for a few years now, but I hear these stories across the district. If you have one to share, please contact me at [email protected]. I want to keep you in mind as I work on this at the state Capitol.
Finally, I’m excited to receive the endorsement of my local sheriff, Garrett Wiggins. I’m proud that my local law enforcement friends are also backing my candidacy, putting up signs in their yards and telling their friends to vote for me. These men and women are my heroes, the ones who run towards the danger instead of away from it, and it is humbling to receive their support. They are villainized in Colorado just for doing their jobs. It was the same party who touted “defund the police,” who has also let abusers run free across the state, and seeks to disarm the innocent. I will always stand up for our law enforcement to be able to do their jobs with more training, not less funding. We need to support them as they defend the innocent.
Standing up for victims–this is what it means to #CrackdownOnCrime.
If you want to see a strong advocate for victims go to the Colorado State House, please invest in this campaign today. Our investment limit is $800 per person, and even $20 a month makes a big difference!