October 11, 2021 (Phoenix, AZ) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is prevalent in our communities and while it tends to happen behind closed doors, the numbers speak volumes about those who fall victim to an aggressor.
In 2020, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed over 1,400 cases with at least one charge of domestic violence. So far this year, that number sits just over the 1,000 mark with 3 months left before the year closes.
In Arizona, a felony domestic violence charge involves a situation where the aggressor is a repeat offender, having the charges listed as ‘aggravated domestic violence’, which according to state law, means the charge is a second or third offense in a 6-year time frame. Often times, repeated violence will end with the death of a victim.
Every year there are approximately 100 deaths due to domestic violence in Arizona, the majority of these occur in Maricopa County. According to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence over the last three years there have been 257 domestic violence related deaths in Arizona, 160 of these occurred in Maricopa County. This year, close to 80% of all domestic violence related deaths in Arizona have occurred in Maricopa County.
“Home should be a safe place for everyone,” stated County Attorney Allister Adel. “Yet today millions of people live in fear within their own homes. Domestic violence is preventable, and education and awareness can be powerful tools to help empower victims and support the work of advocates. Our office is committed to prosecuting abusers, supporting victims, and using this office to create awareness of this issue.”
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used to gain or maintain control over an intimate partner. Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, race, gender, or relationship status. Compared to a healthy relationship where both partners are equals, an abusive relationship has an imbalance of power where one partner intimidates, humiliates, or manipulates their significant other as a way of maintaining control. Domestic violence is more than just physical abuse. Other forms of abuse include sexual, emotional/verbal, financial and online control or harassment.
Learn to recognize the warning signs of domestic violence and speak up or call for help if you see it happening. Stopping abusive attitudes and behaviors before they escalate to violence can make a significant difference to someone living in fear.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, get confidential support from trained advocates online at www.thehotline.org or over the phone at 1-800-799-7233. You can also find support from local programs and shelters in Maricopa County.
First declared in 1989, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time to remember those lost, celebrate domestic violence survivors, and support advocates working to end the violence. Learn how you can get involved and help spread awareness.