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The impact of COVID-19 on sexual and domestic violence in Arizona

This article is Sponsored by Arizona Department of Health Services

Why it matters

Domestic violence-related calls in Phoenix have doubled since the start of the pandemic, according to the Phoenix Police Department. Also, domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona have increased 140% compared to last year. COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of survivors, their children and pets. As a community, we must come together to help mitigate the impacts of violence at any time, especially during these dynamic times.

Who is most vulnerable?

Women who are displaced, who are migrants or refugees, and those living in conflict-affected areas are vulnerable to violence and abuse. Older women and women with disabilities are particularly at risk of violence and are likely to be disproportionately affected by violence during COVID-19.

Stress, the disruption of social and protective networks, and loss of income all can exacerbate the risk of violence. Many survivors feel they are not able to leave their current situation and feel less safe reaching out for help due to the financial impact of the pandemic.

Hope and support

The Arizona Department of Health Services is working with partners to raise awareness and education about this issue, adapt to meet the needs of survivors, and modifying initiatives to ensure social distancing and adequate sanitization.

After sexual assault, it’s hard for survivors to know how to react. Learning more about what steps to take following sexual violence can help provide safety and healing during this difficult time. If you or someone you know is a survivor of abuse, there is hope and help through the Arizona Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Helpline at 800-762-6400 or helpline@acesdv.org.

Additional Statistics About Domestic and Sexual Assault:

  • More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the U.S. report having experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (source)
  • Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this adds up to more than 10 million women and men. (source)
  • Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. (source)
  • In 15 states, more than 40% of all homicides of women in each state involved intimate partner violence. (source)
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are female and 15% are male. (source)
  • Women with disabilities have a 40% greater risk of intimate partner violence, especially severe violence, than women without disabilities. (source)
  • 2 in 5 gay or bisexual men will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetimes. (source)
  • Nearly half of all women and men in the US will experience psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime. (source)
  • Approximately 5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year. Children exposed are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution and commit sexual assault crimes. (source)
  • 40% of The Center for Violence-Free Relationships’ domestic violence cases have children under 18 in the home. (source)
  • Nationally, 50% of batterers who abuse their intimate partners also abuse their children. (source)
  • Worldwide, men who were exposed to domestic violence as children are 3-4 times more likely to perpetrate intimate partner violence as adults. (source)
  • 81% of women and 35% of men who experienced rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short- or long-term impact such as post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury. (source)
  • 4% of high school students report being hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the last 12 months. (source)
  • Only 1 out of 3 people who are injured during a domestic violence incident will ever receive medical care for their injuries. (source)
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police. (source)
  • Men who are victimized are substantially less likely than women to report their situation to police. (source)

Sources:

https://www.phoenix.gov/newsroom/police/1438: Domestic violence-related calls in Phoenix have doubled since the start of the pandemic, according to the Phoenix Police Department. Also, domestic violence-related deaths in Arizona have increased 140% compared to last year.