October is an extremely important month for us here at YWCA. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and as such, is the month that houses our national Week Without Violence.
Week Without Violence is part of a global movement with YWCAs across the country and around the world to end violence against women and girls.
In Arizona, domestic violence is an especially important issue because in 2015, our rate of intimate partner homicides was 45% higher than the national average and things aren’t getting better. Most domestic violence offenders are merely sentenced to probation. And that’s only if the domestic violence is reported. Too many victims of abuse stay silent.
Domestic violence can be hard to identify because it takes on many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse.
The goal of Week Without Violence is not only spread awareness about domestic violence to the public, but it’s to let officials and representatives know we are watching. Domestic violence is an issue that reaches nearly every single community. It makes no difference of your gender, your religion, your class, your language, your education, domestic violence sees every aspect of life as fair game.
It is not just this one week out of the year that we take ending domestic violence so seriously. YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix aims to spread awareness and work with victims and survivors alike to empower everyone within the community. Our Own It! Financial Education Program gives women and their families the skills and tools to own their financial future, which can be the first task for those trying to escape domestic violence. And we are actively at work dismantling the systemic injustices that impact our community.
The more there are, the stronger we are, and the harder we become to ignore. So please, join us this October in order to one day soon reach our goal of ending gender based violence.