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Maricopa County Puts $15 Million In Federal Funds Toward Domestic Violence Services

Maricopa County is putting $15 million in federal pandemic relief funds toward domestic violence services. Evidence suggests the pandemic has led to an uptick in domestic violence. 

The Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotline saw a 30% increase in calls in 2020 and call volumes have continued to increase in 2021, according to a Maricopa County spokesperson. 

The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence  reports 102 Arizonans died in 2020 as a results of domestic violence, an increase over the previous three years. And many cases never get reported, according to coalition CEO Jenna Panas.

“This isn’t necessarily represented in law enforcement reports or in those fatalities, but is rather the day-to-day experience in homes throughout our world," Panas told reporters Tuesday. 

In addition to rising domestic violence incidents, the pandemic has led to job losses and housing instability. Panas said that has made things harder for survivors. At the same time, agencies that serve survivors have faced funding gaps.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will put money from the American Rescue Plan Act toward shelters, counseling services and legal assistance programs.

“We know that through this significant investment, survivors will be able to receive the much needed service to heal and ultimately reclaim their lives,” said Jacqueline Edwards, human services deputy director for the county. 

Access Support Services:

  • Arizona Sexual & Domestic Violence Services Helpline: 800-782-6400.
  • 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (7233).
  • 24-Hour National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673).
  • 24-Hour National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888 & TEXT BE FREE (233733).
Katherine Davis-Young is a senior field correspondent reporting on a variety of issues, including public health and climate change.