012Across the country domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women aged 15-44. In Arizona last year, 109 individuals and four dogs lost their lives to domestic violence. During the first five months of 2015, there have been 40 documented domestic violence related deaths. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter what race, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender or socioeconomic background of a person. Domestic violence happens among married couples, couples living together and those who are dating. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological.

The Arizona Department of Health Services supports Governor Doug Ducey in Lighting Arizona Purple to bring awareness and an end to domestic violence. The website ItCanStop.az.gov outlines warning signs and information on what you can do for a friend, family member, co-worker or someone in your community.

Survivors can find help from a number of state agencies; ADHS, the Governor’s Office, Department of Economic Security, the Department of Public Safety and the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission.  At ADHS we have the Rural Safe Home Network which funds seven shelters in rural communities that provide temporary emergency overnight accommodations and support services to women and children impacted by domestic violence. Last year alone, these seven shelters answered 4,566 crisis calls and provided 21,452 emergency beds to women, children and men.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, there is help, call the National Domestic Violence Crisis line at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to find a shelter near you. The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has a legal hot-line that provides information, referrals, and explanations about domestic violence and legal issues, 1-800-782-6400.