The Denver Post explores the psychological dynamics of domestic violence, in which victims often blame themselves. In 2011, 34,685 clients sought help at one of Colorado’s 46 domestic violence crisis centers, according to a report last year by the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Latinas were disproportionately represented, making up 21 percent of Colorado’s female population but 30 percent of those receiving services from those crisis centers.
Camille Ruff, a victim services coordinator in Colorado, said a woman attempts to leave her abuser an average of five to seven times before finally ending the relationship. Often, they return because they have no place to go and no money. Shelters are full and can take only women who are in imminent danger, Ruff said. Victims hesitate to turn to friends and family. “It’s embarrassing; you don’t want to tell your family what’s happening,” Maria, an abuse survivor, told the Post.