Empty Bowl

Domestic violence occurs when a person believes they are entitled to control over another human being. Whether it involves physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, or animal abuse, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that is used in any relationship by one partner to gain or maintain control over the other partner.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is assaulted or beaten. In their lifetime, 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by a partner. Each year, 1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence between partners, and 90 percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.

Established in 1985, The Crisis Center in Castle Rock exists to help communities live free of violence, with the mission to end domestic violence through advocacy, education, and prevention. They provide a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and offer a variety of services designed to protect individuals and families who are battling different forms of violence.

The Crisis Center has four Douglas County locations to provide therapeutic and legal services to adults and children throughout the greater Douglas and Elbert County areas. Their trained and caring professionals offer holistic therapy services to people in the community who are affected by domestic violence.

Partner organizations bring therapy dogs to the different centers, to interact with kids through dog-play, and accommodate adults in a variety of therapeutic measures. In the same fashion, the Crisis Center works with partner organizations to provide equine assisted psychotherapy (EAP). The exercise encourages mental health, behavioral health, and personal development. EAP incorporates activities that allow participants to work with horses to learn about themselves and other people, then process their feelings, behaviors, and patterns, in a unique way.

In addition to therapy services, the Crisis Center has teams of legal advocates that work with people on restraining orders, custody battles, and other logistics that could be placing clients in imminent danger. The 24-hour crisis line ensures the immediate care of any person facing abuse, violence, or a threatening environment.

With over 30 years of service to the community and more than eight partnering organizations, the Crisis Center has the resources and tools necessary to combat domestic violence. In 2000, a local potter proposed a fundraising event to raise awareness about domestic violence and the services offered by the crisis center.

300 people attended a sold-out Empty Bowl that year, where people in and around the community were invited to pay for an evening of food and entertainment to support the Crisis Center, and learn about the abuse that so many of our own neighbors face. Following dinner, each guest left with a handmade, unique bowl, made by the local potter.

16 years later, Empty Bowl is attended by over 1000 people annually. The Crisis Center is gearing up to host the 2016 event at the Douglas County Event Center, 6 PM on Friday, March 11. Tickets are $40 per person.

Handmade bowls are donated by local artists, and high school students, while dinner is provided by local restaurants and vendors. Guests will experience the effects of domestic violence firsthand, with a performance of ‘Outrage,’ by Chaparral High School’s Dramatic Theater students.

Since 2012, the Crisis Center has partnered with Chaparral High School to teach youth in the community about teen dating violence. In 2015, every Douglas County High School required sophomores to attend ‘Outrage,’ which is an arrangement of skits performed by fellow peers, that display the effects of abuse, violence, and controlling relationships at a vulnerable high school age.

Empty Bowl is an event you won’t want to miss. Get your tickets today, and start educating yourself and those around you about the lifelong effects of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive or violent relationship, we encourage you to call the 24-hour crisis line at (303) 688-8484. For more information on the Crisis Center or how to volunteer, check them out at