TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A news conference held Tuesday evening in Pima County, shed light on the local domestic abuse epidemic during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The event was a joint effort between the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and the Pima County Attorney’s Office.
Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Tucson Police Department Asst. Chief Carla Johnson, Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier and Emerge! CEO Ed Mercurio-Sakwa spoke publicly at the news conference.
“Domestic abuse is an epidemic in our community,” Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall said. “This October we are reminded of the thousands of victims and their children who are affected every year in Pima County. Awareness is the first step in understanding the depth of this issue and in keeping us all vigilant in our efforts to end domestic violence.”
Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse holds events in October to shed light on issues during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Throughout the month, Tucson and Pima County plan to “Paint Pima Purple” by lighting government landmarks to bring awareness that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Tuesday’s news conference signaled the beginning of the month-long lighting of these buildings.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department and Tucson Police Department receive approximately 13,000 domestic violence related calls each year, according to statistics from Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.
Law enforcement response to those calls cost a total of 3.3 million dollars and in Arizona, there have been 55 domestic violence-related deaths in 2018 as of August, 14 of which were in Pima County, the news release said.
Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, Emerge served 5,831 participants and provided nearly 28,600 shelter nights for individuals and families seeking safety from domestic abuse. Emerge also fielded nearly 5,550 calls on the 24/7 multilingual crisis hotline: 888-428-0101.