Sierra Vista, AZ. 10/05/18. Since 1981, October has been recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, shining light—in this case, purple light—on a difficult topic that affects millions of people from every race, religion, and social status.
To bring attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Sierra Vista Police Department replaced building’s exterior lighting to cast a purple glow during the month of October. Community members are encouraged to add a purple ribbon to their lapel to help increase community awareness.
In Arizona, one in four women and one in seven men have been a victim domestic violence, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Domestic Violence. In 2015, at least 107 Arizonans were killed in domestic violence homicides.
Domestic violence isn’t just physical violence. Power and control are part of the cycle of domestic violence and can take the form of humiliation, coercion, manipulation, yelling, stalking, making threats, name-calling, and isolating victims.
“Technology is also frequently used to further domestic abuse,” says Sierra Vista Police Officer Diana True, who is part of the Sierra Vista Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. “Cyberstalking and non-stop texting are just two avenues that abusers use to gain power over their victims.” Other ways include monitoring email, internet history, and cell phone use, or hacking social media accounts.
The Sierra Vista Police Department has pinned a video to the top of its Facebook page. Called “Domestic Violence Hurts: Speak Out Against Domestic Violence,” the video was created in partnership with the Buena High School film and TV production class in 2015.
“The video helps people understand how to recognize domestic violence and how reporting it to law enforcement can help victims, especially those who may be fearful of speaking out for themselves,” True says.
Domestic violence is often associated with romantic relationships, but domestic violence can occur in any kind of relationship where people are related by blood, live together, or have a child in common.
If you feel that you are a witness to or victim of domestic violence, contact your local police department or sheriff’s office, or any community advocacy group. In Sierra Vista, both Lori’s Place and Forgach House offer shelter for domestic violence victims. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 (800) 799-7233; TTY users dial 1 (800) 787-3224.