Phoenix Center available to students facing interpersonal violence
New office location opens in Tivoli
The Phoenix Center at Auraria (PCA), which has been a continued presence on the Auraria campus for 10 years, hosted a ribbon-cutting and open house for their new offices in the Tivoli Student Union on Aug. 28. As stated on their website, the PCA is an organization that “provides free and confidential resources and assistance to survivors of interpersonal violence (relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking), as well as their friends, families, and concerned others.” PCA is also involved in advocacy, education, and training regarding interpersonal violence.
Megan Cullen, the PCA Director, added, “We really have to be the spot folks can come to get services if they’ve been impacted in any way by interpersonal violence…we’re here to make sure no one ever has to go through the aftermath of experiencing violence alone.”
The PCA receives funding from student fees at all three Auraria institutions, as well as from grant funding. Services provided to students facing interpersonal violence include assistance in reporting incidents to law enforcement or school officials, safety planning, court accompaniment, and emotional support.
Service providers like the PCA are especially important on college campuses given that, according to their website, the highest rate of intimate partner violence in the US is among women aged 18 to 24. Young men are vulnerable to interpersonal violence as well. According to the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Violence, nearly 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college.
PCA Victim Services Coordinator Katherine Miller explained, “these kinds of offices are becoming more common” on university campuses, though the PCA is unique because “usually the prevention part is under the health center.” Miller believes it’s more beneficial to have victims’ services and prevention services “working hand-in-hand.”
The PCA staff has grown over its 10 years on campus to include 8 student interns and volunteers who operate the center’s 24-hour crisis line. According to Em Alves, the PCA Violence Prevention Education Coordinator, one of the PCA interns this fall is working on a project to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Trainings for new interns and volunteers are held in August and January. Students who are interested in interning or volunteering can find the application online at www.thepca.org/.
Additionally, the PCA will hold an event for the Red Flag Campaign, a public awareness initiative to prevent sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking on Friday, Sept. 13. Event organizers will display 8,000 flags throughout the Auraria campus, representing the number of students on campus who have likely been affected by interpersonal violence.
Miller clarified that, though the PCA focuses specifically on interpersonal violence, the center strives to serve all students who may be struggling. “We don’t turn people away…We’re going to help them to the best of our ability,” she said.
The Phoenix Center’s new location is at Tivoli Student Union Suite 227.