Advocates serves more victims of abuse in 2014 | SteamboatToday.com

Advocates serves more victims of abuse in 2014

— A local nonprofit organization that helps victims of abuse saw an increase in its numbers in 2014.

Diane Moore, executive director of Advocates Building Peaceful Communities, said 311 people were served in 2014. In 2013, 283 people were served.

Those numbers represent individuals and does not count when someone returns during the year for services.

"The number of high-risk cases that we are working with continues to be significant in 2014," Moore said.

High-risk cases include cases where a threat of lethality has been identified.

She said about 350 children live in the homes where abuse occurred in 2014. That is concerning, Moore said, because abusive behavior oftentimes is generational, meaning children who are exposed to abuse could develop into abusive adults.

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In addition to 24-hour crisis response, Advocates offers counseling as another one of its services.

"I noticed we were doing more counseling sessions this past year," Moore said.

Advocates also offers a safe place for victims of abuse to stay. In 2014, 913 nights of shelter were used.

Moore said cases involving stalking continued to increase in 2014.

To gauge how effective Advocates is, clients are surveyed. Moore said about 90 percent of the clients reported having increased skills and better knowledge of planning their personal safety.

On Jan. 25, Advocates will host its annual Ski For Women fundraiser at the Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the recreational cross country skiing or snowshoeing starts at noon. People who donate at least $20 will receive a goody bag.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland