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1,513 Victims of Domestic Abuse so far this year.

Yuma County has had two domestic violence homicides in the last two months. Domestic violence is consistently the highest call for service for Amberly’s Place, a family advocacy center that provides services to victims of child abuse in Yuma County and parts of Imperial County.

In the first nine months of 2023, Amberly’s Place provided services to 2,354 primary and secondary victims, with 1,513 of those being victims of domestic violence. Secondary victims are those who witness and/or are directly impacted by the abuse of the primary victim.

In September, Amberly’s Place provided services to 349 primary and secondary victims. This is the second consecutive month that the center has assisted more than 300 victims.

“Sadly, we are up 5% overall compared to the same period last year,” Tori Bourguignon, executive director, said. “To say that the advocates have been busy would be a huge understatement.”

During October, many public buildings around Yuma County have been shining purple lights in support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“It is so important that we recognize this issue and do all we can to break the cycle. Domestic violence affects all of us,” Bourguignon said.

She pointed out that 1 in 4 women have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Nearly 8 million women are raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a current or former intimate partner each year. Nationwide, an average of three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner daily.

About 26% of children under the age of 18 are exposed to domestic violence in their lifetime.

“Children are particularly vulnerable as both victims of and witnesses to domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual assault. In order to break the cycle of violence, we must intervene and provide services,” Bourguignon said.

Without intervention, children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, become victims of trafficking and commit sexual assault crimes.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault severely impact not only victims but the entire nation,” she noted.

In addition to the devastating damage suffered by victims and their families, these crimes also have huge financial costs to society.. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nearly 8 million paid work days are lost yearly due to intimate partner violence. That is the equivalent of nearly 32,000 full-time jobs. Medical costs as well as lost productivity equate to $9.3 billion annually.

Several events this month have focused attention on domestic violence. The Yuma Police Department hosted a live forum on domestic violence on Oct. 18 and held a Domestic Violence Awareness Walk on Oct. 19, with participants dressed in purple walking from the YPD parking lot to Amberly’s Place.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Yuma County Victim’s Rights Committee will host the annual Domestic Violence Vigil at 5:30 p.m. at the Yuma County Main Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive. The event is free and open to the public.

“As always, we are grateful to our partner agencies who work tirelessly to support victims of domestic violence and keep our community safe. We are grateful for their collaboration and support,” Bourguignon said.

“Let us continue to work to break the cycle of violence in our communities,” she added.

To talk to a crisis advocate, call the 24-hour helpline: 928-373-0849.

For more information on spotting the signs of abuse, go to

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