Category: What’s New

Sharon - Success Stories


Sharon lived at Hope’s Door shelter in 2015-2016, with her two children; a son and a daughter. When Sharon first moved into the shelter, she was fleeing an abusive husband that moved her out of state. She wanted to return to her home state to be close to family. Her 8-year-old daughter was in need of receiving services for her disability and requiring extra care. She was working full time to try and take care of her family but did not have enough time to take care of herself or her family’s needs.

Shortly after moving into Hope’s Door, Sharon was able to quit her job and started receiving benefits for her daughter and focused on her daughter’s needs as well as her own. She had always suffered from anxiety and depression but had not had the ability to deal with her own issues. Sharon applied for low-income housing and the catch program.

Sharon has recently moved out on her own and into low-income housing. She is receiving disability for her daughter and has recently applied for herself. Her daughter is receiving the required medical care needed and both children are attending school as she currently looks for part-time work.

As a resident at Hope’s Door, Sharon has expressed her gratitude for all of the support and help she received while living at our shelter. She hopes her story will inspire others to make the difficult decision and get the help they need to get away from abusive relationships.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas signed a proclamation on October 3rd, 2016 at the City Council meeting, declaring the month of October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Executive Director of Advocates Against Family Violence, Kim Deugan, was presented the Proclamation.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Proclamation

Whereas, home should be a place of warmth, unconditional love, tranquility, and security and for most of us, home and family can indeed be counted among our greatest blessings. Tragically, for many Americans, their home is tarnished by violence and fear; and

Whereas, family violence is a crime that transcends race, religion, ethnicity and economic stature and one of it’s greatest tragedies is its effect on our young people; and

Whereas, across America, an estimated 4.8 million cases of domestic violence occur each year and at its most tragic level, kills an average of more than three women every day; and

Whereas, each October, the formal recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month allows the community to acknowledge and show their support for the victims of this horrific crime; and

Whereas, a coalition of organizations has emerged to directly confront this crisis and are achieving success. Law enforcement officials, those involved with shelters and hotline services, health care providers, clergy and concerned citizens are helping in the effort to end domestic violence. We must recognize the compassion and dedication of these volunteers and professionals and applaud their efforts and increase public understanding of this important problem.

Now Therefore, I, Garet L. Nancolas, Mayor of the City of Caldwell, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2016 as:

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

And urge all citizens of Caldwell to become a part of the coordinated community response to domestic violence and to send the message that this crime will not be tolerated in our community.

Advocates Against Family Violence would like to thank Mayor Nancolas, the Canyon County Police Departments and the citizens of the City of Caldwell for their continued support. As we spread awareness of domestic violence in our community during the month of October, we recognize that it takes an entire community to stand together and make a difference. Together, we can break the cycle and impact the lives of future generations.

Special thank you to Caldwell Night Rodeo and the Man Up Crusade for donating $4000 to Advocates Against Family Violence! Their continued support provides hope, healing, and strength to all survivors served through Advocates Against Family Violence.

This $4000 donation will provide 80 bed nights for women and children in our shelter!

Caldwell Night Rodeo

Caldwell Night Rodeo

Now in its 82nd year, Caldwell Night Rodeo is one of the largest and longest-running annual events in Canyon County. It draws in rodeo fans in excess of 40,000 over 5 action-packed nights. It is listed among the Top 30 Professional Rodeos AND Top 6 Outdoor Rodeos in the nation. Caldwell Night Rodeo features some of the best professional cowboys, cowgirls and animal athletes in the world. It is an annual stop on the professional rodeo tour.

Caldwell Night Rodeo offers a true rodeo experience unlike any other. With over 500 world-class contestants and 7 action-packed nightly events, the excitement in our arena is electric. Equally divided by the infamous “Rowdies” and “Civies” – the CNR crowd plays an interactive role in the excitement of this one-of-a-kind rodeo.

In 2015 CNR was voted the #1 Large Outdoor Event in Canyon County, one of the Top 10 Rodeo’s in the US by Real Time Cowboy Magazine and one of the 101 Best Events in the West by American Cowboy Magazine.

Man Up Crusade

Man Up Crusade

The mission of the Man Up Crusade™ is to reduce domestic violence in society and contribute to social change by promoting safe and healthy relationships through education, advocacy and funding community services, and programs that share in our mission.

The Man Up Crusade was created by Canyon County Sheriff, Kieran Donahue. Kieran grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Idaho and learned from an early age the definition of hard work and dedication. His western heritage taught him strong family values and gave him the strength to overcome trials and tribulations.

As Kieran’s career in law enforcement developed, he saw first-hand the traumatic effects that domestic violence has on victims and their families. Domestic Violence has become an epidemic in our society and is a public health and safety issue. It is with these facts in mind that Kieran began this journey called the Man Up Crusade.

AAFV has been selected by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to participate in the National Advocacy Learning Center. The team includes our Program Director, Tricia Combs, and two Domestic Violence Advocates.

The Advocacy Learning Center (ALC) is offered by Praxis International and Manavi in partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women. the 18-month course is designed to strengthen how advocacy programs engage with survivors, address institutional responses to violence against women, and involve the community in ending violence. Team members travel to three in-person events and participate in numerous distance learning activities.

AAFV was selected as one of only 15 programs in the new class. They join 236 programs and 627 advocates who have participated in the ALC.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime and one in three women will be a victim of domestic violence. The programs participating in the ALC are working to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, prostitution, and human trafficking.

Advocates Against Family Violence works to eliminate domestic violence in families and homes by empowering individuals to make positive life choices through advocacy, support, education, affordable housing, awareness and community involvement.

Everyone in the community has a role to play in ending violence against women. If you are interested in getting involved with AAFV, click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities.

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Virginia Godina-Ortiz’s Success Story

At our Hope Luncheons on April 21st and 28th, we welcomed Virginia Godina-Ortiz to share her personal story, from her experience with Advocates Against Family Violence and using our services. As we welcomed a group to introduce them to what AAFV is and does, she shared how domestic violence affected her and how our organization helped changed her life.

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Hi, My name is Virginia Godina-Ortiz. I’m a mortgage loan officer for BOTC and have been in the banking industry for the last 25 years. Most importantly I wanted to let you know the reason I support and help this organization as much as I do. Whether it’s to help at the Walk of Hope or help with the Faces of Hope Luncheon or to sponsor an event like this one, I try to be as helpful as possible; and I’ll tell you why.

I was a victim for 18 years, scared to go home after work. I wondered if I was being followed by my ex-husband or if he was going to get home drunk. I worried about work the following day. Will I have to call in sick? Will I have to cover any bruises up?

His concern was that if I worked and earned my own money and have contact with the public I would have the courage to leave him. He made it very hard to continue my career in the banking industry. It was so hard, but I made it. I did everything possible to keep working hard and climb the ropes.

I remember calling in sick a few times because the bruises were just too visible and too dark to cover up with make-up. What was I going to say at work? Of course, I would make something up to say. “I was playing with my kids and I got hit with the ball” that was my favorite. So my co-workers believed my “stories” and pretty soon I had a nickname. My nickname became “Rocky” and to this day, I still have that nickname. Its funny now, but I’ll tell you what; it wasn’t funny then.

I’m not a victim any longer, but a survivor. A survivor because I had the support I needed to get me past all of the negativity and the control he had over me. I had great support from family and good friends. I believe that the services that are provided today by this awesome organization are amazing. If I had the same resources back in my day, I’m confident to say that I wouldn’t have been in this abusive relationship for 18 long miserable years.

Lastly, I encourage you to help, support and become an ambassador of this great organization and become involved. There are many ways to help. Domestic violence knows no race, age or financial stability. It’s really hard to face alone. Although together with your help, we can all make an impact. I’m so proud to be a part of this organization and you will be too.

Virginia Godina-Ortiz

Special thank you to Virginia for speaking at our Hope Luncheons on April 21st and 28th and Bank of Cascades for sponsoring the Luncheons!

Bank of Cascades
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Marissa - Success Story


Marissa was a resident at Hope’s Door. Marissa came to Hope’s Door as a referral from the catch Program. She had been living in shelters for the past year and had nowhere to go. She was forced to move back to Oregon with family members but had legal issues that needed to be resolved here in Idaho.

When Marissa came to Hope’s Door in December of 2014 with her 1-month-old daughter, she had been clean and sober for 9 months when entering our program, after struggling for a long time with addiction issues. She had been in several abusive relationships throughout her life and needed a place that could help her deal with those issues.

While staying at Hope’s Door, Marissa has taken classes to help protect herself and her children. She was given referrals to other agencies and also received counseling services through Hope’s Door. She has resolved her legal issues and is excited to move on with her life. She is currently working part-time to support her daughter and is working on regaining custody of her other children. Marissa will soon be relocating back to Baker City, Oregon, where she has good family support and plans to maintain her sobriety.

Krista - Success Stories


Hi, my name is Krista. I would like to share a little bit of my past and the wonderful life I live now because of the opportunity I had residing at the Hope’s Door Shelter.

A year and a half ago I was in a very dark place. In the prime of my addiction, I isolated myself from my kids, family, and friends. Filled with shame and guilt, I had once again relapsed and was on the run from the law. On June 27th, 2015 the lord had saved me and I was picked up on my second burglary charge. I did a good 90 days until I was released to the drug court program. Two weeks later I was accepted into Hopes Door.

This place gave me the structure, safety, and the freedom to be successful in my recovery and my life. Through my hard work and determination, my life began to soar. The staff at Hope’s Door helped me as much as I was willing to help myself.

I was accepted into the early transitional housing program and hooked up with the CATCH program. Within 6 months upon arriving at Hope’s Door I am now living in my own apartment. All three of my children live with me. I have a wonderful job and my own car.

Today, I am 13 months sober and faithfully working a program of recovery. The staff at Hope’s Door gave me the respect, support, and unconditional love that I needed to grow into the woman I am today.

Thank you to Advocates Against Family Violence for letting me share my story. And to the women out there who feel lost and hopeless: Just remember you are worth it, and you have to learn to love and trust yourself before you can love anyone else.


Hope’s Door Shelter

Hope’s Door is the only domestic violence specific to women and children shelter in Canyon County. We provide protection not only for victims in Idaho, but across the entire United States.

While staying at Hope’s Door Shelter, survivors are able to take part in many different educational courses that focus on healthy relationships and life skills. Our goal is to empower individuals to set the course for eliminating violence in their lives and throughout our community.

Learn More

AAFV Wins Select 25 Award

AAFV Wins Select 25 Award

The Select 25 Award

The Select 25 program supports those who promote health and wellness, assist individuals with special needs, create safe environments, and build strong communities. Each year 25 winners throughout Idaho are awarded $2,500. These donations will help individuals and organizations make a healthy difference in our communities.

Hope Lane Learning Center

AAFV’s daycare, the Hope Lane Learning Center, is a preschool and after school program for children 6 weeks to twelve years of age. Hope Lane is open to the community and provides a safe, nurturing environment with fun, focused learning activities for all ages.

Hope Lane Learning Center is able to accept ICCP and service low-income families in need of superior child care. All of the staff is CPR certified, and completes regular, ongoing education and certifications to keep up to date with all child care regulations and needs.

The grant funds that we receive, the $2500, will go to purchase new playground equipment which will better facilitate the children in their journey as a survivor and help them to further develop their skills.

– Kim Deugan, Executive Director


SelectHealth is a not-for-profit health insurance organization serving more than 830,000 members in Utah and Idaho. As a subsidiary of Intermountain Healthcare®, SelectHealth is committed to helping people live the healthiest lives possible. In addition to medical plans, SelectHealth offers dental, vision, pharmacy benefit management, and life and disability coverage to its members. SelectHealth plans are available for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees. SelectHealth is also a carrier for the state’s Children’s Health Insurance

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This year, more than 180 organizations applied for the award. A selection committee of representatives from SelectHeath, St. Luke’s Health System, and the community evaluated the submissions and recommended the 25 award winners. You can learn more about SelectHealth on their website.

Jessica - Success Stories

He’s Hurting Me…

He's Hurting Me

He’s Hurting Me…

A friend reached out to me and while we were chatting, the problem came up. She and her kids were living with a guy. She didn’t want out, she was sure he wasn’t hurting the kids, and she was sure the kids didn’t know. She was sure he was going to change and things were going to get better.

I offered to get her out of there, but apparently I didn’t “understand”. So, I listened, and I waited. Soon she quit texting me and calling me. Through channels, I let her know I was still around, and she let me know he was monitoring her phone so she couldn’t talk anymore. I managed to get her the phone number of the Advocates Against Family Violence Domestic Violence Crisis Phone Line, and also reminded her of 911. And I waited.

One Friday night at 2:30am she called. The cops had been there, they arrested him and were recommending she go to the hospital. I drove right over.

The kids were with their Dad somewhere else, so they didn’t see it. He had a bad week at work, she got “lippy”, and he broke her cheek bone, tried to strangle her, sat on her chest, and gave her road rash on her kidneys as she struggled to get out from under him. She was in shock and refused to go to the hospital and refused to go to a shelter. He had alienated her from her other friends.

She stayed on my couch that night. The next day I took her to three different shelters. The first one, she refused to go in, the second and third she went in and talked to some people. She didn’t want her kids to be in a shelter, so she talked to her ex and he happily agreed to keep the kids a few days extra.

Monday we went and saw the Prosecutor. They took pictures, took her statement, gave her more referrals to counselors and provided resources for medical treatment. We got her a new cell phone with a new number. This way, he didn’t have control of it, and couldn’t monitor it. Now she was able to talk to her kids.

The next week was spent mostly on the couch sleeping, crying, angry and hurt. A huge rollercoaster of emotions. She went into work and talked to her boss, and explained what happened. Her face was a mess, he had a lot of empathy, and told her to take the time she needed to get it put together, and he’d happily put her back to work when she was ready.

The abuser’s father wrote a large check, and he was out on bail. I learned what a Civil Protection Order was. If you’re unfamiliar with what a CPO is, it means he can’t come near her and with my address added, he couldn’t come near me either. I told the local cops what was going on, and they were pretty happy to keep an eye out for us. They drove by a bunch, which made us feel better. Thankfully, he didn’t come around.

We looked up the abuser’s record. He’d been arrested 5 times over the years for domestic violence and assault and never convicted. Until now. He is now currently in the state penitentiary doing 10 determinate, 15 years indeterminate. This means that he won’t be out for a minimum of 10 years.

Over time, she moved on. She worked it out with her ex and they continue to share custody of the kids. She kept her job, and is working to get to a position to go back to college. That was a really bad time in her life and I remind her of it. We don’t talk much anymore and that’s okay. What matters is that her kids are safe, and so is she.

Women who are living with an abuser will often find help for the sake of their kids. Kids see and hear more than we think they do. They wake up when they hear the sounds of a slap, or the whimper of mommy when she is brutally pinched. They hear the derogatory comments the man makes, the snide digs, the put downs. They see mommy hustling the kids away when he’s had a bad day. This becomes normal to the kids, so the behaviors continue on for the next generation. Young girls look for guys who show their love by hurting.

I’d do it all over again, although I’d do some things differently. I would listen to her, but I would also point out these things; Do you want your daughter to find a great guy to hurt her? Do you want your son to be the young man who hurts?

Next time I’d push her to take care of her kids, and protect her kids by doing the scariest thing imaginable – change. I’d push her to call the Advocates Against Family Violence Domestic Violence hotline to get help (208.459.4779).

Thousands of women and men have gone through this, and they want to help others find their way out. People want to help. They are grateful for the chance to help. They know how scary it is to reach out and think about change, and they completely respect the courage and love it takes to try by reaching out to the Domestic Hotline.

Do them a favor. Let them help you.

Advocates Against Family Violence

Click here to read more Success Stories

Share the Love

Share the Love

For their Share the Love event, Team Mazda Subaru in Caldwell presented Advocates Against Family Violence with a check as part of the Subaru of America, Inc.’s event for $10,404. We are proud to continue partnering with Team Mazda Subaru each year as they grow and extend our deep gratitude for their efforts to support our organization and end domestic violence!

Share the Love – Team Mazda Subaru

Share the Love

At Subaru of America, they stay true to the Love Promise by partnering with a wide variety of nonprofits and charities. In addition to these partnerships, every year Subaru, the owners, and retailers join hands in the “Share the Love” event, giving back to charities across the country. Over the past 20 years, Subaru of America has donated over 50 million dollars to causes they care about and logged over 28,000 volunteer hours.

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