Posted by Shellie Peterson
Carmen Hubb introduced herself and her presenters from Youth Rise, Sarah Ross and Elisa Hubb.    Cheryl Bowdridge directs Youth Rise and she was there to cheer the girls on.  The purpose of the program is to improve the lives of youth in our community by teaching healthy beliefs and behaviors and setting them up for positive social norms regarding relationship violence while striving for a violence free Pagosa. This is the second year of this class being offered as an elective in the High School and was conceived to stop violent behaviors from being developed at an early age.  Programs such as internet safety, bullying, healthy relationships and sexual harassment are offered throughout the year.  There are also special events such as the Denim Day Marchon April 24th at noon at the downtown Bell Tower, The Push Up Challenge on April 26th at Crossfit and the Pagosa Duathlon on July 13th.  
Rise Above Violence was re-branded from the previously know Archuleta County Victims Assistance program in 2006.  Whenever any person is involved in a violent crime there can be a number of other systems that get involved including the Civil Court system, protective custody, short and long-term housing, serious financial implications can be involved as well as dealing with the trauma.  A grant-funded Advocate assists victims with managing all these issues as well as hearing appearances.  Rise Above Violence has a 24 hour hotline in Pagosa but no alternative housing solutions here locally other than short-term motel stays.  There is a shelter in Durango.
Another function of RISE is to assist with training for law enforcement officers and emergency responders so that they can recognize signs of abuse and know how to respond to it.