The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation today recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The proclamation is part of a long-running commitment by the Board to shed light on the issue and comes at a time when there are troubling indications that domestic violence is increasing.
“Survivors are often more vulnerable in times of crisis, so our efforts this year to promote awareness are more important than ever,” said Supervisor Steve Gallardo, District 5. “This proclamation is about publicly committing ourselves to being part of the solution to end this terrible epidemic that impacts all of us, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, race, religion, or educational background.”
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 96 people were killed in domestic violence-related homicides in Arizona, with 42% of those happening in Maricopa County, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, police agencies and crisis lines reported an increase in domestic violence as people spent more time inside their homes and away from other support systems. From January of 2020 through June of 2020, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office received 32 submittals from local law enforcement agencies for domestic violence-related homicides or attempted homicides, which is double the amount received during the same period in 2019.
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 22, 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.
“Solving a problem first requires shedding light upon it,” said Gallardo. “Our collective power can shine a powerful light on this issue that uplifts survivors and shows them they are not alone. I appreciate the community’s support as we work toward a healthier, safer, more just Arizona.”