Happy spring Yuma County! I am extremely excited to announce our Member of the Month for April: SARA House. This organization does so many incredible things and I can’t wait to tell you a little bit more about them. Let’s dive right in!
SARA House is a child advocacy center and sexual assault/domestic violence advocacy organization dedicated to the empowerment of sexual assault and domestic violence victims through direct victim services; community education that impacts deep-seated beliefs and behaviors; and the development of a coordinated community response to the crime of sexual assault and domestic violence.
SARA House serves the Thirteenth Judicial District which covers Morgan, Logan, Yuma, Kit Carson, Phillips, Sedgwick, and Washington Counties.
Paula Bragg is the founder and Executive Director of SARA House. She has over 35 years of experience working in the field of victim services. Every member of the office comes to SARA House with expertise including sexual assault and domestic violence victim advocacy; Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) that are Registered Nurses with specialized training in forensic medical examinations for adults and children and strangulation assessment; forensic interviewers with specialized training to facilitate child-lead interviews for children 3-17 and adults with cognitive learning disabilities; housing and emergency financial assistance; legal advocacy; individual and group support services; and facilitators of prevention education programming, anti-human trafficking, and mandatory reporting requirements.
SARA House opened the doors of their satellite office in Yuma County 5 years ago, but have been available to services to residents of Yuma County since they opened their doors in 2006 as a part of their regional service area. Prior to services being offered locally by SARA House, victims and their families were referred to the metro area for forensic evidence collection, forensic medical examinations, and forensic interviewing. Children were interviewed at law enforcement agencies where the approach is not meant for the comfort and support of children and families. To properly provide an investigative environment for children and adults victimized by crimes involving domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, it is important that the atmosphere is family friendly and is a place where on-going services can be provided.
SARA House began as a confidential, community based sexual assault program for adults. Within a few months Ms. Bragg was asked by the Colorado Children’s Alliance to provide services as a child advocacy center. In 2011 SARA House was professionally accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. The center provides a child and family friendly environment where children can feel safe to talk to trained professionals about things that have happened to them, be provided forensic medical examinations/wellness examinations, specialized advocacy and referral for other necessary services and therapy. The agency provides full services that eliminates the need for multiple interviews and secondary victimization by a system that is meant to support them.
SARA House offers specialized, confidential services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. SARA House is the first organization in Colorado to offer SA/DV services for individuals of all ages. We are a child advocacy center and sexual assault/domestic violence advocacy organization. We provide advocacy for victims and families, emergency financial assistance, strangulation assessment, forensic interviews, forensic medical/wellness examinations for children and young adults 3-17 years of age, and sexual assault forensic medical examinations for adults. We also offer prevention programming for school-age children as well as the broader community in our efforts to end sexual and domestic violence. We are also working on anti-human trafficking efforts and a development of a regional human trafficking task force.
Beyond the variety of direct services offered at SARA House, they also offer the following educational programs:
- Coaching Boys into Men
- Stewards of Children
- Superhero Personal Body Safety Education for K-2nd
- Mandatory Reporter Training
- Introduction to Human Trafficking in Colorado
- Individualized presentations for schools and community members/organizations
- We will also be offering the Not A Number program in middle and high schools starting in the fall of 2021.
When asked what the teams favorite part of being able to work with this organization was, they said:
“We provide much needed services across the region for survivors and their families while we also work to prevent sexual violence from happening through prevention education. We have an amazing team of advocates that are passionate about this work and bring an amazing energy and compassion to this organization. We continue to grow and adapt as an organization as we identify needs that arise through our work with survivors.”
When you get the chance to meet this team, there’s no doubt how much they care about the wellbeing of victims within the communities that they serve. Make sure to follow some of their pages to learn more about volunteer opportunities, programs, and more!
Yuma Office Location: 910 S Main Street (2nd floor), Yuma, CO 80759
Yuma Office Phone Number: 970-867-2121