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Domestic Violence Interview with Detective Sandie Campanella

I was given the opportunity, and the honor, to sit down and talk to Detective Sandie Campanella about Domestic Violence. Detective Campanella has been with the Longmont Police Department for the last 16 years, as of January 2019. She worked as a School Resource Officer (SRO) for 3.5 years and has been with the Domestic Violence Unit for the past 8 years.

Q- What is considered domestic violence?
A- Domestic Violence is any crime committed by current or previous intimate partners. Intimate relationships include current and former marriages, partnerships, sharing of a biological child and Colorado does recognize same sex relationships.

Q- How can we talk to our children about domestic violence and start an honest discussion about what is crossing the line into domestic violence?
A- When talking to your children ask them, "What do you think is a healthy relationship?" Talk to them about possible red flags, sometimes it is helpful to look at websites together to review these red flags. (Links to websites are below) Talk to them about how crossing the line is doing ANY of the red flags; and convey to them that if they are doing something they wouldn't do in front of a parent or authoritative figure they are probably doing something wrong.

Some possible RED FLAGS to look for are (please keep in mind this is not a complete list):

  • If someone is intimidating you.
  • If someone is doing things to make you feel bad about yourself.
  • If someone is forcing sexual activity upon you.
  • If someone is forcing you to do things you do not want to do.
  • If someone is physically forcing you to do anything.
  • If someone is physically harming you.
    Please note that these things are not only wrong but also may be crimes.

"In the dating scenario if you are asked to do something you wouldn't do in front of others it is probably because it is wrong and possibly even a crime. If you intimidate your partner not to tell, it is wrong and possibly a crime as well."

Q- What signs should we look for that someone we know is dealing with domestic violence? And what should we do if we notice these signs?
A- Some of the things you may notice, and should look for, that your child or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence include but are not limited to: Changes in behavior, more secreticy, more isolation, changes in the way they dress, changes in family interactions, the need for constant contact with their partner and only wanting to associate or be with their partner. In teens you may notice them wearing more makeup (to possibly hide injuries) or wearing less makeup because their partner has told them not to wear it. Also; changes in school behavior, grades, interests and involvement with in school.
If you wonder if your child, their friend or someone else is dealing with domestic violence, there will be noticable signs. Pay attention for the signs and do not dismiss them. If these signs are noticed and it is to a life threatening point then Police involvement is absolutely necessary. Always strongly encourage the person to report any life threatening behaviors to the Police. If it is not a life threatening situation, you can try to sit down and have an open, honest conversation to figure out what exactly is going on and what to do about it.

Q- Who can someone contact and reach out to if they are in a relationship that involves domestic violence and they need help?
A- There are really 2 different tracks someone can take. Keep in mind it is not helpful to do nothing as domestic violence typically won't stop on its own.

  1. If they are not ready for Police involvement or are unsure of the situation; in Longmont, they can reach out to Safe Shelter. http://safeshelterofstvrain.org/ Safe Shelter is a community based Domestic Violence Advocate place that you can reach out to, or go to and remain confidential.
  2. If they are ready for the Police to be involved, then you can call 9-1-1, speak to the school counselors, a teacher or even a SRO (School Resource Officer). School counselors, teachers and SROs all must report any domestic violence; as they are legally required to report such things to the Police. Domestic violence is a mandatory arrest crime.

Q- What long term effects does domestic violence have on children growing up with it going on in their house?
A- Chronic exposure to violence can cause children to have depression, affect their grades and social behaviors. It also can lead to repeating the cycle of violence as they grow up. Research has shown that it can cause emotional, mental, intellectual and social impacts.

Q- If we suspect someone we know is being hurt in a domestic violence way, what ideas can you give for starting that conversation?
A- If you see signs of domestic violence occuring with your child or someone you know you can start the conversation with, "I'm worried about you because....(list specific reasons)" "I've noticed these changes since...(use specific examples)" "How can I help?" "Let's look at some information together." Remember this subject can be hard to talk about, and the person might even have been told not to tell anyone or something might happen; be sure that when you talk to them that you talk openly, non judgmentally and reassure them that they are safe telling you the truth about things.

Q- What support groups are available locally?
A- Locally Longmont/Boulder:
Safe Shelter of Saint Vrain Valley
If you are not in immediate danger but need to talk to an advocate now, call our 24/7 Crisis Line: 303-772-4422.

SPAN (Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence) https://www.safehousealliance.org/
24 Hour Crisis Line 303.444.2424 (TTD) or email hotline@safehousealliance.org

Q- What are three things you would like people to know about domestic violence?

  1. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury and death to women 18-44 years old.
  2. 1 in 3 women will report being the victim of some sort of domestic violence crime in their lifetime.
  3. 1 in 4 women will report being a victim of violent physical abuse in their lifetime.
  4. Almost half of the women murdered in this country, every year, are murdered by a current or former intimate partner.

Q- What are three things you would like people to know about the negative affects of domestic violence?

  1. Domestic violence affects everyone and it has a long lasting impact.
  2. The violence has a ripple effect with in the community and all involved.
  3. There are about 4 Million (4,000,000) incidences of domestic violence occurring in this country every year.

Q- What are three things you would say to someone living with domestic violence?
A- I would tell them,

  1. There is HOPE!
  2. It is important that they make a safety and an escape plan, and seek help from professionals.
  3. Gather as much evidence they can.

Q- Is there any additional information you want to give people or additional resources?
Safe Shelter provides safety, support and resources to individuals affected by domestic abuse. We promote empowerment through direct services and community education, advocating for the right of every individual to live a life free of intimidation, exploitation and abuse.
If you are not in immediate danger but need to talk to an advocate now, call our 24/7 Crisis Line: 303-772-4422.

SPAN is a human rights organization committed to ending violence against adults, youth and children through support, advocacy, education and community organizing. SPAN began providing services in 1979 and is crucial to the network of support that offers critical “safety net” services to vulnerable, low-income and at-risk populations. It is the only organization serving Boulder, western Broomfield, smaller towns and unincorporated Boulder County designed to provide shelter and advocacy for victims of interpersonal violence at a time when our community is experiencing higher domestic violence rates than national and state averages.
24 Hour Crisis Line 303.444.2424 (TTD) or email hotline@safehousealliance.org

LEVI’s Three Pillars:
• Educate the Community
• Empower Victims
• End Domestic Violence

National Website
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Our highly-trained advocates are available 24/7/365 to talk confidentially with anyone experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.

Information on RED FLAGS and possible signs to look for

Domestic Violence Interview with Detective Sandie Campanella
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