April 30, 2022

Self-defense seminar raises money for local non-profit

COLORADO SPRINGS – Self Defense Seminars were held in Colorado Springs Saturday to raise awareness for Sexual Assault and Prevention month as well as Child Abuse Awareness month.

First Strike Krav Maga showed women and family members how to protect themselves and get home safely.
Some people who learn these techniques turn this into a hobby or fitness for the week.

100 % of the ticket sales will support Tessa – a local organization for domestic abuse and sexual abuse victims. Last year they raised more than a thousand dollars, and they hope to raise even more this year.


April 29, 2022

TESSA brings awareness to domestic violence against men

COLORADO SPRINGS — A local organization that helps victims of domestic violence says the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case has brought new awareness to domestic violence against men.

The actor and his ex-wife are currently embroiled in a very public defamation case against one another. Both claim the other was physically and emotionally abusive throughout their relationship.

Anne Markley, CEO of the nonprofit TESSA, says a case like this brings more light to the issue of domestic violence and gives the courage to get help. She adds there is stigma surrounding men reporting abuse who may be afraid of becoming emasculated if they come forward with accusations.


April 26, 2022

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

COLORADO SPRINGS — Sexual assault affects one in three women and one in six men, many of these cases occur before the victims reach adulthood.

According to the National Violence Resource Center, sexual assault impacts each individual in a different way. Guilt, shame, and fear are just some of the feelings described by victims.

According to RAINN, “Every 68 seconds another American is sexually assaulted.”


April 1, 2022

FOX21 Morning News 3-Degree Guarantee April 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — Every day during FOX21 Morning News, the FOX21 Storm Team shows you how accurate our Colorado Springs forecast was from the day before. If we get the forecast correct within 3 degrees (plus or minus), our friends at WireNut Home Services donates $30 to a charity, and FOX21 matched that donation.

This month we are highlighting TESSA, a local, confidential organization that provides services to individuals experiencing interpersonal domestic or sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking in El Paso and Teller counties.

For the past 45 years, TESSA has been committed to the mission of ending family violence while empowering individuals and their families to take back the life that is rightfully theirs. TESSA has evolved into a multifaceted organization centered around trauma-informed care. They provide safe housing, confidential victim advocacy, counseling services, legal and housing assistance, youth and children-specific programming as well as outreach and community education opportunities.


DEC. 15, 2021

Indy Give! 2021: TESSA of Colorado Springs

FOX21 News and Loving Living Local have once again teamed up with the Colorado Springs Independent for this year’s Give! Campaign. The campaign highlights local nonprofits that need your help to succeed in their missions.

TESSA supports domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking victims in the Pikes Peak region. Services include our Safehouse program, 24/7 Safe Line, confidential advocacy, counseling, legal and housing aid, youth and children’s programming, as well as community outreach and educational resources.

During the 2020 quarantine, TESSA saw 500-600 more monthly Safeline calls than previous years, a nearly 50% increase in demand for their services.


DEC. 2, 2021

Domestic violence cases increase during the holidays

COLORADO SPRINGS — As families gather and meet up for the holidays, domestic violence advocates are asking people to take the time to increase their awareness of an issue impacting a shocking number of households.

Data shows that every nine seconds in the U.S. a woman is beaten or assaulted. Unfortunately, the holidays can be an even more dangerous time for those at risk.


DEC. 2, 2021

Signs of Domestic Violence to watch for this holiday season

Local agencies in Colorado Springs and in Pueblo say they usually see more cases of domestic violence around the holiday season.

“Spending time with family, financial stressors, alcohol consumption… Those may be just… Those added stressors that are added to the holidays,” said Rica Molet with TESSA, a resource agency for domestic violence victims in Colorado Springs.


OCT. 26, 2021

Domestic violence in Colorado Springs; highlighting the tragic reality and how we can prevent it

On Oct. 26, 11 News partnered with TESSA and the City of Colorado Springs to shine a light on domestic violence in our community. October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an issue that is highlighted this month but everyone should be aware of year round.


OCT. 21, 2021

The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado

Day of Action | Wear Purple Day | Domestic Violence Awareness Month| Every1 Knows Some1

Rica Molet | Community Engagement Manager


Sept. 30, 2021

The Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado

On today’s Elevating Pikes Peak Women, we’re sitting down to discuss Human Trafficking…

Today, we’re discussing human trafficking in Colorado Springs, and how you can spot it, get help and change the conversation.

This podcast is focused on the topic of human trafficking in our city, and has guests including a CSPD Officer, Metro Vice Narcotics and Intelligence Division, Jordan Rhodes from TESSA, and Julee Bellar from the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado.

Subscribe for more episodes, and reach out to us on Facebook at or Email Us and let us know what you thought of today’s episode. We’re on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and many other platforms.

We’ve got another great episode coming to you soon! Make sure to subscribe!


Sept. 29, 2021

Colorado Springs orchestra to bring awareness to domestic violence in upcoming concert

As the pandemic isolated us in our homes, many feared intimate partner violence would increase.

Those fears were not unfounded. In Colorado Springs, beginning in April 2020, TESSA, a nonprofit that supports victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, saw increasing numbers of people who needed help. Those numbers have continued to climb, with no drop-off. Before the pandemic, the organization received about 800 calls per month on its safe line. Nowadays, that number is 1,200. And in normal years, the nonprofit touched about 15,000 people. This year, in 2020-2021, that number is 23,000.


Sept. 23, 2021

Victim advocates share domestic violence resources as questions surround Gabby Petito’s relationship

“The most important thing to keep in mind for if something like that does trigger you, there always resources to help you to be able to talk through that,” TESSA CEO Anne Markley said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced some form of domestic violence. About 1 in 5 women and about 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner.

The CDC considers intimate partner violence (IVP) as a significant public health issue.


Aug 31, 2021

Inside the Military Mind: Resilience and Lessons Learned with Eli Varney and TESSA of Colorado Springs

Duane France continues his conversation with Eli Varney, a licensed professional counselor and explores the lessons we can learn from failing and specifically the 4 lessons Duane learned from failing the U.S. Army Jump Master Course in the Insight segment. He also spotlights TESSA of Colorado Springs, empowering victims of partner violence in the Homefront Military Network resource of the week.


Aug 16, 2021

Tessa’s Annual Pasta in the Park is back!

Pasta in the Park has returned to an in-person format this year and it’s going to be better than ever!

Pasta, wine, beer, along with whiskey and bourbon from Distillery 1350 are all included with your admission. You can rest easy knowing that the proceeds will go to help victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse right here in our community.

Tessa’s entire mission is to give victims their lives back, you can help with that mission.


June 3, 2021

The Relationship Between COVID-19 And Domestic Violence

After a man walked into a birthday party in Colorado Springs last month and shot and killed six people and then himself, the police chief said domestic violence was “at the core” of what happened. After the incident, advocates said the stresses and isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it even more challenging for victims of domestic violence to seek help.

Rica Molet is community engagement manager with TESSA, a nonprofit based in Colorado-Springs. Its goal is to create a community that’s free of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. TESSA operates in El Paso and Teller counties. Nicole Castillo is program director with the Rose Andom Center based in Denver. It connects victims of domestic violence with a variety of services. They spoke with Colorado Matters about the relationship between the pandemic and domestic violence.


May 19, 2021

FOX21 hosts “Domestic Violence: A Candid Conversation” panel

Tuesday night, FOX21 gathered a group of experts to talk about a tough topic: domestic violence.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers joined us to talk about how domestic violence can affect the community. Suthers was previously Colorado’s Attorney General, and has a vast knowledge of the law. Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen also joined us to answer legal questions that arise in domestic abuse cases.

TESSA CEO Anne Markley also joined us for the panel. TESSA is a local organization that provides support and resources for those in abusive or violent relationships.

Tara Loo, a survivor of domestic violence, joined us to share her story and experiences.

Watch the hour-long panel in the three videos below.


May 11, 2021

Colorado domestic violence calls increase 50% during pandemic

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – Local advocates for domestic violence survivors are asking for help from our viewers amid a massive increase in calls and violence since the pandemic started.

TESSA of Colorado Springs empowers victims of partner violence to take back their lives, by providing support through dozens of programs including counseling, group counseling, housing, and educational opportunities for men, women, and children.


May 10, 2021

Colorado Springs birthday party killings spotlight year of ‘extreme’ domestic violence, experts say

A shooting that killed seven people at a birthday party in Colorado Springs on Sunday appeared to be the result of domestic violence, according to Mayor John Suthers, highlighting a dark trend in the Pikes Peak region.

“We’re going to extreme acts of violence quicker,” said Anne Markley, CEO of TESSA, El Paso County’s primary domestic violence prevention and support organization, which saw record-high numbers for call of assistance last year that haven’t let up this year.


May 10, 2021

Close friend of shooting victims calls for more attention on domestic violence resources available

COLORADO SPRINGS — For some close to the family killed in Sunday’s shooting at a mobile home park, they’re now on a mission to make sure something like this never happens again. For one of them, that starts with making sure everyone knows the resources available to those in abusive relationships.

Colorado Springs Police say the man suspected of shooting and killing six family members at a birthday party Sunday morning was the boyfriend of one of the victims.


APRIL 28, 2021

A brave space: Sexual assault survivors and poets share stories on Denim Day

This year, Denim Day falls on Wednesday, April 28. It’s a chance for people to show solidarity with survivors of sexual assault by wearing jeans.

The global campaign began in 1999, following an Italian Supreme Court decision that reversed a 1992 rape conviction. A 45-year-old driving instructor was sentenced to jail for raping an 18-year-old girl, and then appealed the sentence. A reason contained in the statement from the court that reversed the decision said the victim wore tight jeans at the time, which could not be easily removed. It went on to say the girl must have helped take off her jeans, and by doing that, it was considered consensual sex.


MARCH 17, 2021

How parents can spot signs of grooming from sexual abusers

Rica Molet, the Community Engagement Manager at TESSA, said abusers will often look for kids who are isolated or in need emotionally. They’ll start trying to relate to that child, fill needs they might have, and try to gain their trust. Then, they’ll often try to isolate that child even further emotionally and physically, by saying things like, “you can trust me, because no one else understands you the way I do.”


FEB 24, 2021

TESSA warns of the prevalence of teen dating violence

COLORADO SPRINGS — February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This year’s theme is “Love is Respect.”

TESSA is working to raise awareness about the issue. And it’s a much bigger issue than you may think.


JAN 11, 2021

Pandemic-fueled domestic violence leads to homicide spike in Colorado’s largest cities

In a typical year, TESSA serves about 15,000 people, Markley said. In 2020, the organization helped between 22,000 to 23,000 people.

In 2019, the organization received an average of 800 calls a month to its hotline, but in 2020, that number jumped to about 13,000 monthly calls.

“Those numbers are not going down. They are staying steady, if not going up,” Markley said.