Over the past decade, domestic violence has become more prevalent than most people realize. The statistics are staggering. In the United States, a woman is abused by her partner every 15 minutes. About 85% of domestic violence victims are women—and about 15% are men. Three women are killed every day by a current or former intimate partner.
Experts in domestic violence around the country say the stress of holidays can sometimes bring out the worst in partners, which leads to violence.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, a national effort to raise awareness of abuse in teen and early adult relationships.
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the healthy relationships in your life by focusing on what makes them so special to you. Offer support to others in your life and remember to always listen to them. If you’ve experienced abusive relationships in the past, Valentine’s Day is most likely a difficult time for you. Make an effort to steer clear of routines and habits that remind you of a former abusive partner. Spend more time with loved ones and strengthen your relationships with them. Always be respectful to your partner, show you care about their feelings and consider how your behavior might affect them. If you are not happy in a relationship and want to end it, you should feel safe to do so. You should never feel threatened or at risk of violence in your relationship.
What are some ways you plan on celebrating the relationships in your life this Valentine’s Day?
If you’re in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, there are many organizations in Arizona that you can contact for help.
The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence was founded in 1980 as a grassroots organization of domestic violence service providers committed to working for and with victims and survivors of domestic violence in Arizona.
Arizona Voice for Crime Victims
Arizona Voice for Crime Victims (ACVC) was established in 1996. AVCV collaborated with Arizona State University College of Law to form the Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance Project. The Crime Victims’ Legal Assistance project utilizes pro bono lawyers and law students to provide legal advocacy and social services to crime victims. Social workers and student interns provide necessary social service support and advocacy throughout the criminal justice process.
Community Alliance Against Family Abuse
The Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA) was founded in 1998 by a small group of local citizens who saw a desperate need to address domestic violence in the community. CAAFA has grown substantially since its inception ten years ago. Its services have expanded to include a sixteen-bed shelter, outreach office, support groups, one-on-one empowerment sessions, victim advocacy, community and youth violence prevention outreach programs, 24-hour crisis line, legal advocacy, and CAAFA’s Safe Home Network (CSHN).
Located in northwest Maricopa County, Eve’s Place currently offers domestic violence services primarily in this geographic area. Domestic violence victims from all areas of the state are welcome at Eve’s Place Safe House, to call the crisis line, or to attend support groups. Eve’s Place accepts clients from outside our area on space available basis. Women of all ages and children, both boys and girls up to age 18, are welcome at the Safe House.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services – Shelter Without Walls
Shelter Without Walls started in 1998 to address the unmet need in the community for expanded support services for survivors of domestic violence and their children who are residing outside of a shelter setting and are struggling to maintain safety and independence.
My Sister’s Place (Catholic Community Services)
My Sisters’ Place, a 25-bed facility, opened in 1985 to address the unmet need for safe, stable housing for victims of domestic violence in the East Valley. Located in Chandler, it is one of only two domestic violence shelters in the East Valley. While most participants enter the program from within Maricopa County, My Sisters’ Place is able to serve victims from throughout Arizona and nationwide. Services are provided to victims of domestic violence and their children, without regard to race, ethnicity, language, disability, family size, income or religion.
New Life Center
New Life Center was started in 1991. Due to the prevailing need for safety and the need for a domestic violence victim to locate outside of her home community, we provide shelter to families from throughout the state of Arizona.
Sojourner Center is a domestic violence program that provides shelter and supportive services to those who have experienced domestic violence. Sojourner Center is located in Central Phoenix and primarily serves Maricopa County, however there are no residency criteria for services. Services include emergency shelter, transitional housing, safety planning, advocacy, case management, family support, licensed childcare, and legal assistance.