For Immediate Release
Jenna Panas, CEO
Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
AZ COALITION TO END SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RELEASES REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON SEXUAL & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMS IN ARIZONA
Phoenix, AZ, July 17, 2020 – COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the lives of survivors, their children, pets, and local victim service programs. Social distancing measures increase risk for violence in homes and limit opportunities for survivors to access help. Throughout the pandemic, sexual and domestic violence programs have remained steadfastly open, providing crucial services to survivors during a particularly precarious time.
Programs have had to make significant shifts in shelter and service provision to ensure the safety and wellbeing of survivors and staff during COVID-19. There is a critical need for additional resources to address the dramatically evolving needs of survivors during the challenging circumstances presented by the pandemic. While call volume has fluctuated, most shelters remain full, and community-based advocates have maintained large and growing caseloads.
A survey was distributed to the 29 community-based sexual and domestic violence programs in Arizona who are members of ACESDV. The survey was open through late May and early June, and was supplemented by follow-up conversations with programs through June 18th. Twenty-four programs responded to the survey. Among these programs, 50% serve a primarily rural area, 29% serve a primarily urban area, and 21% serve a combined rural and urban area.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of sexual and domestic violence survivors already exceeded the available resources in Arizona. Victim service providers have decades of experience managing life-threatening crises with limited resources; however, COVID-19 has impacted communities in unprecedented and sustained ways. As programs adapt to meet the needs of survivors, funding is critical to sustain and hire staff, purchase new technology, identify and provide safe housing alternatives, and modify programs to ensure social distancing and adequate sanitization.
“Arizona providers have been amazing in their ability to pivot and quickly meet the needs of survivors in a stressful and constantly changing environment, however they critically need funding and donations in order to continue to do so. We hope that by identifying program needs, our community will help survivors,” stated ACESDV CEO Jenna Panas.
The community can help support programs continue providing crucial services to survivors. In response to the Impact of COVID-19 survey, ACESDV collected information from programs throughout Arizona with specific donation needs request. Many programs indicate needing PPE equipment, sanitizing supplies, gift cards to stores like Walmart and Target, as well as monetary donations. Find a program in your area to learn about what they need and how to donate. View the Sexual and Domestic Violence Programs Donations Needs document.
About the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence
The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (ACESDV) works to dismantle oppression and promote equity among all people, focusing on increasing public awareness about sexual and domestic violence and enhancing safety and services for survivors. ACESDV was originally founded as the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1980, so that concerned citizens and professionals could unite in a statewide organization to end domestic violence. In 2013, the coalition became the designated dual coalition to address both sexual and domestic violence in Arizona, thus becoming the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence. ACESDV provides training and technical assistance to responders, service providers, and community members, engages in public policy advocacy and public awareness initiatives, and provides direct services through their Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Helpline and online chat.