Statewide Domestic Violence Prevention Campaign Announced ‘End the Violence, End the Silence’ Campaign Expected to Reach 455,000 Women Every Week

(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 17, 2009)  Attorney General Terry Goddard; Michael Bender, Regional Vice President of Walmart; and Allie Bones, Executive Director of the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, today announced a new statewide domestic violence prevention campaign, “End the Silence, End the Violence.” 

This campaign will provide women with information on how to find help and keep themselves and their families safe from domestic abuse. It is expected to reach as many as 455,000 women each week.

Starting this week, Walmart will display End the Silence, End the Violence awareness posters in the women’s bathrooms of all of its 91 stores statewide. The poster features information on the 24-hour domestic violence resources available to Arizonans. This includes access to emergency shelter services as well as legal assistance, case management and counseling.  

“I am committed to a system of justice that holds offenders accountable for their actions as well as remembers and respects the victims of crime,” Goddard said. “The End the Silence, End the Violence campaign says domestic violence is unacceptable and that we as a community and State will not tolerate it.”

"Walmart is committed to helping people live better.  Through these posters we want to let our customers know that if they, or someone they know, are living in an abusive situation, there are resources available to help them make a change for the better," said Michael Bender, Regional Vice President of Walmart.

“The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence is proud to be a part of the End the Silence, End the Violence campaign,” Allie Bones, Executive Director, exclaimed.  “As an organization committed to raising the profile of the issue of domestic violence and ensuring that victims know of resources available in the community, we embrace opportunities that convey to a broad audience that lifesaving services are available for victims of domestic violence.”   

Law enforcement alone cannot solve the problem of domestic violence. Early intervention and appropriate services are also needed to stop abuse from continuing. This is especially critical because when abuse continues, there is a tendency is for the violence to escalate. Access to information about services available is a barrier that isolated and abused women face.  Partnerships that bring private, community and law enforcement resources together to help victims find the information and community support they need are critical for addressing this tragic and all-to-common crime. 

The End the Silence, End the Violence campaign is uniquely positioned to reach women suffering in an abusive home. The hope is that by having information available in a non-traditional space, such as Walmart stores, it will reach those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to know that help is available.  This campaign has the potential to truly save lives.

Additional Information & Statistics
This is the third state in which Walmart has partnered with an Attorney General to prevent domestic violence. Recently, the national retailer partnered with the Kansas and Oklahoma Attorneys General. 

The Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence was formed in 1980 so that concerned citizens and professionals could unite through this statewide organization to increase public awareness about the issue of domestic violence, enhance the safety of and services for domestic violence victims, and reduce the incidence of domestic violence in Arizona families. Since its inception, the Coalition has served as an advocate and a voice representing the needs of domestic violence service providers and the victims they serve throughout Arizona. 

The End the Silence, End the Violence campaign is one of many resources provided by the Attorney General’s Office to victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes. In 2005, Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology established the CUT IT OUT program in Arizona. This national outreach program draws on the cosmetology community's unique skills and access to women by providing salon professionals training and information on how to spot the signs domestic violence.

The Attorney General’s Office of Victim Services provides services to facilitate justice and healing for Arizona’s crime victims as well as to support criminal and juvenile justice system entities statewide in the administration of victims’ rights laws. These include the Victims’ Rights Program which provides financial assistance to criminal justice agencies, the Victims’ Rights Enforcement Program and Victims’ Rights Training. 
In fiscal year 2009, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 22,358 calls, and the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s Legal Advocacy Hotline received 2,354 calls from victims/survivors of domestic violence. 

Also that year, 11,209 Arizona adults and children received services from 32 shelters in 13 counties. The average length of stay in emergency shelter was 33 days. A total of 373,601 nights of shelter were provided to adults and children during the year. Forty-seven percent of those who received emergency shelter services were children.  

Approximately 125 women die every year in Arizona as a result of domestic violence.  In addition, 15-25 perpetrators commit suicide each year in Arizona. There have been 103 domestic violence-related homicides in Arizona so far in 2009.

In Arizona, every five minutes a law enforcement officer responds to a domestic violence call. An estimated 4.5 million physical assaults are committed against U.S. women by intimate partners each year.