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Domestic violence calls No. 1

Once again calls for help from domestic violence victims remain the No. 1 call for help at the Amberly’s Place Family Advocacy Center. And most of those calls involve children.

“Sadly, we still provide more services to children impacted by abuse than we do adults,” Diane Umphress, executive director, wrote in an email to stakeholders.

The good news is that the community and local governments and law enforcement agencies in Yuma, San Luis and Somerton continue to show their support. They did so especially during October, which was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, by displaying purple lights to bring awareness to domestic violence.

During October, the center also hosted community forums in Yuma and San Luis to help residents know what they can do to help a friend or family member who is a victim of domestic violence.

“We need to engage more community awareness and support to make an impact on this evil impacting our community and homes,” Umphress said.

In addition, on a daily basis, center advocates sit with victims to help them find resources and address their emergency needs. “It is very impactful for a victim to have answers and references to assist them,” she noted.

“One of the things that makes this program work so well is the community support for victims. When an organization or a business or community member donates food or schools supplies or money to address the emergency needs of the victim we are working with, the advocates make sure they know where the help is from,” Umphress explained.

“The reason for this is simple: everyone wants to know that someone cares about them and their children.”

Umphress added that she would like to see an increase in community reports of domestic violence. “Many times a victim is unable to access a phone to make a report as the abuser has control of the phone,” she noted.

According to Umphress, the Arizona Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault reports that 90 people in Arizona died last year due to domestic violence. Eighteen of them were children.

“It is time as a community that we take a stand and stop the excuses for abuse, report all suspected abuse and hold the reported abuser accountable for their actions. Our children deserve to live in a home and a community free from abuse,” Umphress said.

She expressed appreciation to the law enforcement officers who respond to these calls “day and night. We are also thankful for our supporters who make addressing the emergency needs possible. Together we are making a difference.”

Amberly’s Place is located at 1310 S. 3rd Ave. and can be reached at 928-373-9691.

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