DOUGLAS — A small group of Douglas residents gathered at the Douglas Police Department for a candlelight vigil Oct. 12, honoring victims and survivors of domestic violence as October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to statistics, one in three women and one in four men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime.
To support Domestic Violence Awareness Month and victims of domestic violence, the Douglas Police Department and City Hall were lit up in the color purple. This event is used to mourn those lost to abuse, celebrate survivors and network for change.
“Domestic violence affects people from all walks of life, both directly and indirectly,” Douglas Police Chief Kraig Fullen said in his welcoming remarks. “It is one of the more common calls for service that our officers respond to on nearly a daily basis, and given their unpredictability remains one of the more dangerous calls for law enforcement.
“In a comparison for calls classified under domestic violence, we had 293 calls in 2019, 200 calls in 2020 and year-to-date, 165 calls. Not every call involves a reportable offense or an arrest. These are only the cases that were reported. We recognize a majority of incidents go unreported, and I suspect the pandemic is contributing to the lower number of reported cases as victims are forced to remain at home with their abusers.”
The chief told victims they are not alone.
“We understand that relationships and the factors involved in domestic violence and domestic abuse are equally complex, and the way out isn’t always simple or clear,” he said. “The bottom line is a relationship is a partnership — not ownership. We stand ready to help when you are ready.”
Douglas Mayor Donald Huish, with assistance from Ward 3 councilwoman Danya Acosta, read a proclamation signaling Douglas’ awareness that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“This has no place, no purpose, no reason in our society,” Huish said. “We need to learn to recognize those signs that we see from people who may be affected, especially the children that have to witness something as horrible within the walls of someplace I believe should be a sacred and safe place, which is our homes.”
Acosta noted it’s difficult to leave a domestic violence relationship.
“We need to keep that in mind for those that we know may be going through something,” she said. “We can be good advocates by providing some kind of support for people and being there when needed.”
Nancy Rose, a 10-year employee with Chiricahua Community Health Center Inc., was the keynote speaker.
“We all should feel safe at home and not be in an environment that we feel fearful of,” she said. “We should be an example for our children and let them know that this is something we will not tolerate and needs to stop.”
A candlelight vigil was held remembering those affected by domestic violence.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, call 800-799-7233 or chat online at thehotline.org. For local assistance, contact the House of Hope Women’s Shelter at 520-364-2465.