When you see the color purple during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October – whether that’s on a friend’s shirt or the dome of the State Capitol in Phoenix – keep in mind this shocking fact: Since the start of 2020, an average of two Arizonans have died every week from causes directly related to domestic violence.
Through August, there were 59 domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. That maintains the same pace as 2020, when 102 people in our state died because of domestic violence. Deaths are the tragic indicator of a much larger problem: Nearly 22,000 people called domestic violence hotlines in Arizona to find help and options to stay safe between June 2020 and July 2021. Many more suffer in silence.
The Arizona Capitol dome will be lit in purple throughout October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, calling attention to the fact that domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or background. It also can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, or economic violence. These abusive actions or threats are intended to gain and maintain power and control.
You can connect to resources and support at ItCanStop.az.gov. In addition, resources for individuals experiencing domestic violence are offered by the Arizona Department of Health Services, as well as the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family, the Attorney General’s Office and the departments of Economic Security and Public Safety.
The federal Family Violence Prevention and Services Act grant administered by ADHS funds several shelters in rural and urban communities across Arizona and provides supportive services to women and children impacted by domestic violence. From June 2020 to July 2021, the grant paid for 2,230 emergency bed nights and 7,348 additional services for individuals, parents, and children impacted by domestic violence.
You can help address the problem by learning about domestic violence and talking with neighbors, family members, and friends. Please show your support by wearing purple on Oct. 21, National Domestic Violence Awareness Day or raise awareness by lighting your homes and businesses purple this month.
Let’s create a culture in which violence is not tolerated in our relationships, families, and communities and put an end to domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, there is help. Call the National Domestic Violence Crisis line at 800-799-SAFE (7233) to find a nearby shelter. Or contact the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence legal hotline at 800-782-6400. Or visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.