October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when victims, allies, advocates and the community at large come together to mourn lives lost to domestic violence, celebrate progress, and highlight resources available for victims.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office defines domestic violence as a pattern of controlling behaviors where one person uses their power to control another person. It is not isolated to any one gender, race, economic situation, or upbringing and can be difficult to identify as it can take many forms.
According to the County Attorney’s Office, Arizona sees about 100 fatalities a year because of domestic violence. The Maricopa Association of Governments released a calendar of events related to domestic violence prevention and awareness for this month.
Samantha Hinchey is the manager of domestic initiatives at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. The organization gives training to advocates who work with survivors and lobbies state lawmakers to avoid passing laws that harm survivors. Hinchey provided The Arizona Republic with an in-depth history of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“It was a week at first until the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence turned it into the month of October. The original color was like a lilac lavender color similar to what women suffrage advocates used, but now it’s more of a dark purple,” Hinchey said.
Multiple government buildings will be lit purple at night in recognition of the month, including the Arizona Capitol and Phoenix City Hall.
The coalition will host an item drive-through with Phoenix this month, when residents can donate items for survivors. The city will release a list of needed items on its website soon.
Hinchey urged people to educate themselves about domestic violence and to be a part of the solution.
“It’s just about listening and not judging and believing everything they tell us and then responding appropriately. So making sure that we’re safe people for survivors of domestic violence,” Hinchey explained.
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Several services are available in the Phoenix area for victims of domestic violence:
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona goes purple in October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month