Grant arrives as domestic violence cases rise in number, severity amid COVID-19 pandemic
PHOENIX (Oct. 21, 2020) – Arizona ranks 10th in the country for calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, but stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines that protect against COVID-19 spread have often left victims trapped with their abusers and unable to safely call for help, creating a crisis for survivors and the organizations that serve them.
In response to the increased need for support, the Arizona Lottery has announced a $100,000 grant to A New Leaf’s domestic violence overflow program, DV STOP. DV STOP provides temporary emergency placement for domestic violence victims and their children in high lethality situations when shelters are full, a common problem as the pandemic has forced shelters to reduce capacity to prevent infections. Clients can access legal assistance, job training and additional resources through DVSTOP as they await more permanent shelter options.
The grant will provide more than 626 nights of safety and support to more than 150 individuals and families.
Meeghan has worked with DV STOP and A New Leaf’s domestic violence crisis hotline, SAFE DVS for six years. Meeghan and her small team answer 20,000 calls each year from Phoenix Metro community members in crisis, and place about 400 adults and children in temporary shelter through DV STOP when no other safe accommodations are available.
“Some calls are really tough because what you are hearing is so horrific. Calls can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the situation, and the first things we ask are, ‘Where are you? Where is the abuser right now? Is it safe for you to talk?’ About 90% of callers are looking for shelter, but there just aren’t enough beds and resources available.”
“The Arizona Lottery has a long history of funding vital programs that work to improve our communities and combat the scourge of domestic violence and the homelessness it all-too-often causes,” said Arizona Lottery Executive Director Gregg Edgar. “We are proud to partner with A New Leaf during Domestic Violence Awareness Month and provide this $100,000 Gives Back Sponsorship. These funds will provide food, shelter and case management for over 150 individuals and families, helping them to break the cycle of domestic violence and forge peaceful and productive lives.”
In recognition of this contribution, Arizona Lottery has been named as the title sponsor for A New Leaf’s Pledge Purple @ Home virtual event on October 29th at 7:00 PM. The event will focus on building awareness around domestic violence and support for A New Leaf’s programs. For more information and to register for the event go to https://www.turnanewleaf.org/make-difference/special-events/pledge-purple.html. If you are someone you know needs help with a domestic violence situation, call 1-844-SAFE DVS or 480-890-3039.