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Take Back the Night with Purple Lights
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04 October 2015   Lynne LaMaster

Not only is the Arizona Capitol Dome awash in purple lights to observe “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” but here in the quad city area, the Town of Prescott Valley’s Civic Center is also lit in purple. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and throughout the state, communities are making the effort to bring recognition and prevention to the issue. 

With a large banner that says, “Take Back the Night” Prescott Valley flips the switch on for purple lights during October. 

The facts that Governor Ducey's Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women have come up with are frightening:

More than 800,000 women and 480,000 men over the age of 18 have experienced domestic violence in Arizona. But it starts earlier than that. Children who live in households with domestic violence are often abused themselves. 10.7% of high school students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend. 

When children live with domestic violence, they can come to view it as normal, and set themselves up to perpetuate the cycle, frequently becoming victims themselves in their own relationships as they grow older. 

In Arizona, one or more children witness a domestic violence incident every 44 minutes. ( AZCADV)

National Statistics

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  •  ( NCADV)
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their life ( NCADV)
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crimes ( NCADV)
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner ( NCADV)
  • Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior ( NCADV)
  • Only 34% of people injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries ( NCADV)
  • 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder-suicides are female ( NCADV)
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of them are eyewitnesses to the violence ( NCADV)
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion each year ( NCADV)
  • Domestic Violence costs more than $37 billion each year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment and lost productivity at work  SafeHorizons
  • 43% of lesbian and 61% of bisexual women have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence ( AZCADV)
  • 26% of gay men and 37% of bisexual men have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime ( AZCADV)
  • Native American women experience domestic violence at rates 50% higher than other groups ( AZCADV)
  • Women with disabilities have a 40% greater risk of intimate partner violence than women without disabilities according to the American Plychological Association ( APA)
  • Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families according to  SafeHorizons 
  • Most domestic violence incidents are never reported  SafeHorizons

The Good News

Is it possible to make a dent in the problem? Yes. 

According to the Bureau of Justice ( BJS) from 1994-2012, the rate of domestic violence declined 63% from 13.5 victimizations per 1000 people aged 12 and over to 5 per 1000 in 2012. 

"From 1994 to 2012, violence committed by intimate partners declined at a faster rate than violent crime committed by immediate family members and other relatives. Violence committed by intimate partners declined 67%, from 9.8 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 1994 to 3.2 per 1,000 in 2012. Violence committed by immediate family members declined 52% during the same period, from 2.7 to 1.3 per 1,000. Violence committed by other relatives decreased 49%, from 1.1 to 0.6 per 1,000… Rates of serious intimate partner violence declined by over half, from 3.6 per 1000 persons age 12 or over in 1994 to 1.0 per 1000 in 2012."

Warning Signs

  • Seeking isolation from family & friends
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Strict control over financial, social matters and appearance
  • Frequent last-minute cancellations
  • Emotional abuse, insults, put-downs, public humiliation
  • Fear when with partner or the abusive parents

How to Find Help

Local Resources in Yavapai County

Prescott Area Shelter Services

Stepping Stones Agencies

Yavapai Family Advocacy Center

Other statewide and national resources can be found at the City of Prescott’s website under  Victim Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Anonymous Domestic Violence Hotline at  SafeHorizon 1-800-621-HOPE (4673) 

The  ItCanStop.AZ.gov website recommends a safety plan, which includes preparing an emergency bag with the following items:

  •  House & car keys, address book
  •  Money, cab fare, ATM card, checkbook, credit card
  •  Mobile phone, important numbers
  •  Social security card, your partner’s SS number
  •  Insurance policies, medical records, medication
  •  Order of Protection, record of violence, police records
  •  Children’s birth certificates, school and immunization records
  •  Clothing, eyeglasses, non-perishable snacks
  •  Passport, green card, work permit
  •  Baby formula, diapers, medication
  •  Driver’s license & registration

They also recommend memorizing phone numbers that you can call in an emergency, teaching your children about safety, and having an escape plan. Other suggestions could include having a duplicate emergency bag at another location unknown to the perpetrator, designating a safe haven location for your children to meet you at, choosing code words for dangerous situations for family members. 

ItCanStop.AZ.gov provides resources and information. In the meantime, when you see purple lights during the month of October, you too, can reflect on ways to help those caught in the cycle of domestic violence.

 

Graphs and charts above from the ItCanStop.AZ.gov website.