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Phoenix dons purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix launched its plan to raise awareness about domestic violence as part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month on Thursday.

Community partners and stakeholders gathered alongside members of the Phoenix City Council, Mayor Greg Stanton and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at Phoenix City Hall, most donning the color purple in support of ending domestic violence.

“The display of purple is a reminder that the people of our city are committed to being a national leader in preventing and ending domestic violence,” said Stanton.

Stanton said residents should see plenty of purple around town as the city’s goal is to “paint the city purple” during the month of October. This will include many city employees wearing purple all month long and even the lights on the roof of City Hall replaced with purple lights.

Stanton said the city of Phoenix has taken the issue of domestic violence very seriously and, after the launch of a city plan called “A Roadmap to Excellence” in October last year, they have seen success in combating domestic violence.

As of the end of June, the city reported it has served 70 orders of protection and alongside the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, has help 359 families or individuals get evaluated by a housing specialist with 186 of those placed into permanent housing.

O’Connor said domestic violence in the U.S. needs to be addressed because it is an issue that permeates through all sectors of society, as has been shown with the recent events surrounding the NFL.

“It affects all populations regardless of age, education, race or status,” she said. “It follows the victims in their daily lives in ways that are very destructive.”

Councilwoman Thelda Williams said the goal for Phoenix’s involvement in National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to not just raise awareness about the issue of domestic violence, but about the help available to those who encounter it.

“It’s not only awareness, it’s being aware that there are services out there to help people,” she said. “I think personally, every family has to recognize there’s help for that person and we can end domestic violence if we all work together.”