(Phoenix, Ariz., - March 17, 2004) – Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard announced this morning funding for the Arizona Safe Passage Program. This new program was developed through the ongoing collaboration between Utah and Arizona to address the complicated issues involving the Colorado City/Hildale communities.
The Arizona Safe Passage Program is a partnership between the Attorney General’s office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety to provide $79,347 in emergency funding that will fill gaps in services available to the residents in these communities while the Utah Attorney General’s Office waits to hear about if they have been awarded a $700,000 Department of Justice grant.
The Arizona Safe Passage Program will provide the following services:
- A victim advocate and safe transport for Mohave County. The Mohave County Attorney’s Office will receive funding to hire a victim advocate based at the Community Justice Center in Colorado City. This grant also will provide funding to develop outreach materials, including brochures and billboards used to provide information to the Colorado City/Hildale community on the services available to them. Also included in this award are funds for the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office to provide transportation assistance to domestic violence and child abuse victims from Colorado City to nearby shelters or services, which frequently requires trips to St. George, Utah or to locations outside Mohave County.
Funding Total: $ 51,347
- Specialized training for state agencies and other organizations working with victims of polygamous communities. The Utah Attorney General’s Office has identified a team of experts to develop the training for use by Utah and Arizona programs. This funding will help complete the training program development. Once developed, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office will work in partnership with various state agencies and other organizations to implement the training statewide for agencies operating crisis hotlines responding to crisis calls and providing services to victims.
Grant Total: $ 8,000
- Expanded outreach efforts in the Colorado City/Hildale area. The final leg of this funding will used to assist Utah with the immediate expansion of the 211 Information Bank Domestic Violence Hotline to allow seamless coverage “24 hours a day -7 days a week” on both sides of the Arizona-Utah border. The Utah Domestic Violence Hotline is an important resource to the Colorado City/Hildale community because of the expertise of the staff and close proximity to Utah crisis programs that often serve as the initial refuge for fleeing victims. Arizona does not have a statewide Domestic Violence hotline at this time, and most Arizona shelters operate after-hours crisis lines and rely on the national domestic violence hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) to refer victims to the nearest location or local law enforcement. Through this collaboration with Utah, Arizona will be able to better help Arizona victims find appropriate programs and resources.
Grant Total: $20,000
The emergency funding will bring needed resources to Mohave County, and will also enable Arizona and Utah to advance plans by at least six months for development of training for professionals and the expansion of the Utah domestic violence hotline while awaiting a funding decision by the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2004.
The funding is made available through the Arizona Victims of Crime Act as well as Victims Rights funding from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.