Martinez: Here's what you should know about domestic violence in Arizona


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, law enforcement saw a spike in domestic violence brought on by stressors as people spent more time at home. What you should know is it was always there in some sort of capacity; the pandemic merely increased the rate of reaction.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Domestic violence isn’t just physical and comes in many forms.

From mind games to manipulative behavior along with financial, spiritual and emotional abuse. Anyone can be a victim regardless of age, race, gender, faith, class or sexual orientation.

At some point, one in four women and one in 10 men will experience physical, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. For transgender individuals more than half experience some form of violence from their intimate partner including physical harm and coercive control.

The most common misconceptions include people thinking domestic violence is a private family matter. Another myth is victims provoke their partner’s violence and it should be easy to pick up and leave the abuser. The last misconception is domestic violence is an impulse control or anger management issue.

Here are the facts according to Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence:

  • Domestic violence is everyone’s business. Keeping domestic violence a secret harms children, incurs substantial costs to society and serves to perpetuate abuse through learned patterns of behavior.
  • Whatever relationship problem exists, the use of violence is never justifiable or acceptable
  • Fear, lack of safe options and the inability to survive economically prevents victims from leaving abusive relationships. Threats of harm including death to the victim and or children can keep a person trapped in abusive situations.

The most dangerous time for a victim is when they attempt to leave the relationship or when the abuser discovers there’s a plan to leave.

  • Abusers act deliberately and with forethought.

The power and control wheel is the domestic violence cycle, which controls victims in the household.

The cycle of abuse comes in four stages: There’s the building of tension, the abuse incident, the reconciliation, and a period of calm which follows.

The abusive patterns are similar, while the circumstances for each individual are different. 

In the spirit of education and awareness the AZ Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has created 31 facts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I urge you to follow us on social media at @ANewLeaf as we share information each day. Engage in the conversation at #EndDVinAZ and #DVAM2021.

Each year, A New Leaf helps more than 6,000 domestic violence survivors in Maricopa County with resources to assist almost every situation. Our Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you need assistance call 480-890-3039 or 1-844-SAFEDVS or visit Turnanewleaf.org.

Editor's note: Dana Martinez is program director of A New Leaf Domestic Violence Services. Visit turnanewleaf.org.


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