Survivors face domestic violence or homelessness

Posted at 9:48 AM, Mar 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-14 11:48:52-04

In the past year, 51 individual domestic violence services for local programs were reduced or cut in Colorado.

Annually, the National Network to End Domestic Violence study’s a 24 hour period of time and while this year the study didn’t show that more people are reaching out for services, it did indicate that there are fewer resources for people, causing more people to need services.

The study counted 919 victims served in that 24-hour period.

The statistic that is troubling some domestic violence survivor advocates is that there were 158 unmet request for services in that day and nearly 80 percent of those were people reaching out for housing.

Hundreds, like Jennipher Turner, are having to choose between staying with their attacker, and risking further injury, or becoming homeless.

Turner chose to leave and live in a homeless shelter with her four children, one of which was a newborn at the time.

“I had no resources, I had nothing, I didn’t know where I was going to go, but at that point I was so desperate, it didn’t matter where I went, because I knew it meant life, life or death,” said Turner.  “It’s such a deep rooted situation that, it’s really hard to overcome and you can’t do it alone.”

Turner left her ex-husband after he violated his fifth protection order that she had filed against him. The protection order was violated after he had spent six months in jail for a conviction in connection to an attack on Turner.

Turner left him just days before she was set to give birth to her fourth child.

“I walked into the hospital by myself with my diaper bag, my duffle bag and my protection order,” said Turner. 

Turner said she routinely talks to her children about the violence they witnessed as she works her way around the metro area bringing more awareness to the issues surrounding domestic violence.

“They’ve seen a lot of adult things that they never should have had to,” said Turner. “We talk about safety, boundaries and how to overcome and that everything is built on choices.”

Turner is now working full time and going to school, while raising her four kids.

Her success now is a direct result of her strength to leave her ex-husband Turner said.  She’s urging others to do the same.

“It might be one of the most difficult decisions that you ever make, but you’ll look back and you’ll be so proud of yourself that you had the courage to do it,” said Turner.

If you are in a violent situation or need help finding resources, contact the National Center for Domestic Violence at 1-800-799-SAFE.