Read his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Good evening and thank you all tonight for joining us in this worthy mission.
Before I begin, I would like to applaud the courageous message that Priyanka Miller and Ron Blake are sending by being here. Priyanka and Ron: you’re both survivors, and you’re an inspiration to all of us. We are so grateful you are both here.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Nicole Bidwill and Diane Umphress – Co-Chairs of the Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women – as well as Debbie Moak, our tireless Director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. Your passion and purpose for helping our victims is making an incredible difference in the lives of real people.
Earlier today, Debbie’s office – along with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys’ Advisory Council – held a training to show our communities how they can best support our survivors. It was incredibly helpful, and I want to thank everyone involved for helping with that.
For the second consecutive year, I am honored and delighted to have your presence, as we continue to reach out and lift up the lives of many of our fellow Arizonans who are in need.
As you know, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is why our historic Capitol Dome has been lit purple to bring attention to this issue.
Throughout my career as a businessman – and now chief executive of this state – I have been blessed to meet with Arizonans of every political stripe and hear their concerns firsthand.
I can assure you, there is no less political or divisive issue than the prevention of domestic violence and abuse. This is something that all of us, hand-in-hand, must tackle head on.
As Governor of Arizona, I have no greater responsibility than keeping our state and its citizens safe. Domestic violence, in all of its forms, stands in direct opposition to our priority of protecting Arizona families and communities.
Domestic violence is a pervasive problem that knows no boundaries. It affects all ages, races, sexes, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.
It’s an epidemic that plagues our communities, neighbors and citizens in all corners of this vast state.
The emotional and physical toll that domestic violence takes on our society is well documented.
In Arizona, domestic violence affects one in four women, and one in seven men. Every citizen has the right to feel safe in his or her own home. And while I am your governor, I will continue to make public safety a top priority.
Our administration continues to make significant new investments in child safety, enhanced partnerships with local and federal law enforcement, and initiatives to combat human trafficking, drug smuggling, and the scourge of drug addiction.
Last December we directed $280,000 in funding for over 30 domestic violence shelters in Arizona. These funds will help victims trying to meet basic needs as they rebuild their lives.
But we still have much heavy lifting to do, and time is of the essence.
Every 44 minutes in Arizona, one or more children bears witness to domestic violence.
Every 36 minutes in Arizona, a police officer responds to a domestic violence dispute where a child is present.
Every 19 minutes in Arizona, an arrest is made as a result of a domestic violence incident.
Every 12 minutes in Arizona, a domestic violence victim calls the Department of Economic Security to request emergency shelter, information, or a referral.
And every five minutes in our state, a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call.
So as you can see, minute by minute, domestic violence impacts our society and all of us have a collective responsibility to help.
My message to those who are in abusive situations – YOU ARE NOT ALONE, and you have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed.
There are thousands of women and men just like you who are in dire need of help. Please, if you are in an abusive situation, reach out to a shelter, a friend or a loved one, and ask for help.
Know that there are professionals out there who are committed to helping you.
As your governor, you have my word that the state of Arizona will do everything it can to ensure that domestic violence victims never experience this kind of abuse ever again.
As Arizonans, we all have a responsibility to know the signs, to help the victimized and vulnerable and speak out against this abuse whenever we can.
If you’re here tonight and you’re feeling a calling, please enlist and volunteer at one of our domestic violence programs. They need your passion and your help!
If you’re active in the business community and want to know what you can do to make our cities and state safer, our domestic violence shelters welcome your donations!
Before I conclude, I would like to give many thanks to The Home Depot, for your continued partnership with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. Your passion for your community is a testament to your standing as a first class business.
All Arizonans can join our cause by lighting their homes purple, and The Home Depot is selling purple light bulbs at all Arizona store locations, with a portion of the proceeds going to support domestic violence prevention.
I would like to take a moment to thank our other sponsors – the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as SRP and APS. Our community is grateful for your support.
And I would also like to thank the professionals on the front lines and all of the shelters around our state for their dedication to the cause of combatting domestic violence. It is because of you that victims have someplace to turn, someone to talk to, and a sliver of hope that help is on the way.
So tonight, as we stand united together, let Arizona send an unwavering message to the rest of the nation that domestic violence can and must stop. During the month of October, be passionate about the color purple, and be passionate about this cause. By working together, we can protect our fellow citizens and get them the support they need!
Thank you and God bless you.