October is Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month, and we need your help to spread understanding of this issue. Let’s dig into the data to understand what’s happening across the country, in Arizona, and right here in Gilbert.
What is DV? What does it look like?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that includes the use of threats of violence and intimidation for the purpose of gaining power and control over another person. Domestic violence can happen to anyone in any community regardless of race, education level, religion, gender, etc. What are the warning signs?
Physical violence is not the only red flag. Warning signs can include jealousy, emotional abuse, sexual violence, controlling behavior, isolation, verbal abuse, threatening violence, or blame-shifting for feelings or problems.
The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically. However, one constant is the effort to maintain power and control over the other. The power and control wheel lists common domestic violence tactics an abusive partner will use to manipulate a relationship.
DV in Gilbert
In fiscal years 2017-2019, the Gilbert Police Department responded to 5,678 domestic-related calls for service. Since Gilbert is a high residential area, Gilbert Police receive more domestic violence-related calls than they do for violent crimes.
In 2015, the Gilbert Police Department established the Family Violence Unit to help end domestic violence in the community. The unit is currently comprised of four detectives and one sergeant. They work side by side with Gilbert Youth and Adult Resources and other community partners to direct resources and provide assistance to victims and families of domestic violence.
The Family Violence Unit also utilizes the data from the crimes to better understand what is occurring in Gilbert and how to prevent it. Stay tuned for a follow-up story.
DV in Arizona
In September 2018, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) published its 13th annual Domestic Violence Counts National Summary, which gathered feedback from domestic violence programs in the U.S. that participated in the National Census of Domestic Violence Services. NNEDV found in one 24-hour period, 1,846 victims of domestic violence, 486 people attended a prevention and education training, 334 hotline calls were answered, and 310 requests for a service were not provided because of lack of resources.
According to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV), on average, 105 people are killed in domestic violence-related crimes each year in Arizona. There are many resources provided in Arizona to help prevent DV and to assist victims and families. Visit ACESDV’s website to learn more.
DV in the United States
In the same study, NNEDV found that in the United States, 1,608 programs served 74,823 victims of domestic violence, 25,479 people attended a prevention and education training, 19,459 hotline calls were answered, and 9,183 requests for service was not provided because of lack of resources.
Ten million people a year are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a nonprofit organization that aims to support survivors of domestic violence and spread awareness. DV occurs every minute, every day, and the effects can last a lifetime. Below are a few more statistics on domestic violence.
As you can see, domestic violence is a wide-spread issue affecting people in every community, even here in Gilbert.
Resources and how to help
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but the Gilbert Family Violence Unit is here to help #EndDV and spread awareness all year. If you think you or someone you know is a victim of DV, contact NCADV, watch to learn more, and/or access resources at gilbertaz.gov/dvam.
Want to show your support? Speak up to #EndDV! Here are a few ways you can help:
- Wear purple every Wednesday in October and on October 24th for National Domestic Violence Awareness Day.
- Donate new or lightly worn clothing to Winged Hope, a local nonprofit organization that focuses on preventing and healing family violence. Donations will be accepted at the Gilbert Prosecutor’s Office located at 55 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, Arizona 85296.
- Shop at smile.amazon.com and select Winged Hope as your charity of choice. A percentage of your purchase will be donated to the organization.