Colorado Springs

LGBTQ organization in the Springs gets funds for 'Safe Dates' program

Inside Out Youth Services

COS receives LGBTQ Funds

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A program in the state's department of human services is awarding almost nine million dollars to community‐based organizations that help prevent youth crime, violence and much more.

KRDO NewsChannel 13's Cinthia Maldonado tells us about the only non-profit in Colorado Springs that will receive part of that grant.

It's an issue we’ve all heard about —abusive relationships but it may surprise you to learn about one group that is particularly hard hit.

Alex Hail who has been part of a local LGBTQ organization shares his experience. "My abusive relationships that I’ve been in have very much warped me and my personality and changed me as a person."

National statistics show LGBTQ youth experience two to three times more violence in relationships.

Alex says LGBTQ youth need some sort of direction when it comes to relationships, “I know that with queer people or LBGTQA+ people it can seem like they won't get a relationship because of who they are."

So now the state joined in to fight the lion's share of violence."The nine million that we are allocating this year goes out to about 126 programs across the state. We will be able to serve about 80,000 youth," explains Kristi Griffith- Jones.

One of those programs is Inside/Out Youth Services in the Springs. They're being awarded close to $43,000 to help prevent  dating violence.
"We're using an evidence based curriculum that's called safe dates. It's a ten day class curriculum that really helps young people understand what is a good relationship looks like and what does a bad relationship looks like," says Mary G. Malia. She is the executive director of Inside Out.

She says LGBTQ youth need some sort of direction when it comes to relationships, “What the data tells us about youth in Colorado is dating violence is an issue for LGBTIQ youth."

The new Safe Dates program is set to start in September—and it also hopes to prevent suicide and self-harm.
"Just because you're not being physically hurt that doesn't down play the situation at all," says Alex.
We want to point out - you don't have to be LGBTQ to take part.   That program is open to anyone in the community even those who just want to be educated on the issue.

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