On Wednesday, TESSA announced their new No Excuse for Abuse Task Force, aiming to stop domestic and sexual violence.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also spoke at the event and will be serving as co-chair.
TESSA said they gathered community leaders representing business, healthcare, military, local government, and other segments of the El Paso and Teller County regions to develop strategies and create new initiatives to fight domestic violence and sexual assault in the region.
They came up with four initiatives:
- Initiative One: Public Education Campaign
- Initiative Two: Youth Outreach and Engagement
- Initiative Three: Training for Professionals
- Initiative Four: Affect Public Policy
“In Colorado Springs, police respond to 30 to 40 domestic violence incidents a day,” Suthers said. “Serious injuries in some cases. We’re talking death in some cases. We’re talking homes being destroyed. Lives being destroyed.”
“We are launching the No Excuse for Abuse Task Force today, on Valentine’s Day, because when we are talking about preventing domestic violence, what we are really talking about is promoting healthy, safe relationships,” TESSA executive director SherryLynn Boyles said.
Suthers said over the last 40 years, local agencies and organizations have done their jobs following up on these crimes, but more work needs to be done to prevent it.
“It remains a huge problem for our society,” Suthers said.
Kristen Paruginog is a survivor herself. She’s making it her mission to help other victims, bringing her national organization Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence to Colorado Springs.
“I was strangled, or when I was bit in the face, to threats of him saying he was going to kill me,” said Paruginog. “The idea is great. The concept is wonderful, but the next step is actually implementing the plan that we had put in place.”
“We know it’s too big, it’s too complex, for TESSA to take on alone, and it’s too big for one agency, law enforcement to take on alone, for prosecutors to take on alone,” Boyles said.
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