The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation today recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The proclamation comes as the Board makes new investments to support survivors.
“The last 18 months have had a dramatic negative impact on many parts of our lives. One impact that continues to be troubling is the increase in domestic violence,” said Chairman Jack Sellers, District 1.
“There has been an increase in fatalities due to domestic violence in Maricopa County. Because of this sad fact, my colleagues and I are putting $15 million of American Rescue Plan funds to address the issue and support survivors in leaving abusive situations,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5.
Video: Remarks by Chairman Sellers, Supervisor Gallardo
Video: Domestic Violence Survivor Story
The $15 million includes money for direct financial assistance for survivors and a system change that will allow survivors to seek services without living in a shelter. This will provide survivors with resources they need without putting them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one in ten men, one in four women, and one in two transgender or gender non-conforming individuals have experienced domestic violence in their lifetimes.
Last year, at least 102 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides in Arizona, with 64% of those happening in Maricopa County, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, police agencies and crisis lines reported an increase in domestic violence incidents and the severity of those incidents as people spent more time inside their homes and locked away with their abusers. From January 1, 2021 to August 31, 2021 there were 59 deaths caused by domestic violence related incidents.
To raise awareness about this important issue, the County Administration Building, located at 301 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, will be lit purple throughout the month of October. Residents are encouraged to wear purple on Thursday, October 21, and post photos to social media with the hashtag #ColorTheCounty to demonstrate their personal commitment to ending domestic violence. You can learn more about the issue and how to provide support to survivors on the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence website or by following Maricopa County social media accounts.