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PHOENIX, Ariz. - “The window had been my companion, a promise of a world safe on the outside the window was my hope of help on the other side," an emotional account of domestic violence from Arizonan Brianca Miller, heard by the governor and countless others, gathered in front of the Arizona Capitol building Monday night to commemorate the start of Domestic Violence Awareness month and to light Arizona purple. It’s an issue the state says will affect 1 in 4 Arizona women in their lifetime.
“It’s going to take us lighting that purple light within us to let these victims of Domestic Violence know we are here for them and support them”, said Amberly's Place Director Diane Umphress.
Amberly's Place is front and center on this issue, to see what led up to the big gathering at the capitol we have to go back to Saturday evening, the start of October. That night Amberly's Place gathered the Yuma Community in front of their new advocacy center and lit the facility purple but their push to end domestic violence was just beginning. If you had a message to get across where would you go? There is perhaps no place better in Arizona than a Cardinals Game.
“This is the second time Nicole Bidwell, Governors chair on women against Domestic Violence invited Amberly's Place to help spread awareness against Domestic Violence.", said Umphress.
“So we have been working together the past year to try and make a difference against Domestic Violence”, said Arizona Cardinals Vice President Nicole Bidwell.
And Sunday’s game seems like a perfect place to make an impact.
“You know there might be some Cardinal fans here today and pick up a pamphlet and may need some help”, said Bidwell.
We spoke with one of those Cardinal fans who also happens to be a veteran and she says she is happy to see the state and Amberly's Place taking action.
“I know in the service there were alot of issues we had to deal with and I know we had internal resources but I am glad to see there are people supporting the effort and making it a better place to live”, said veteran Ellen Flanary.
After the game the Cardinals lit the stadium purple to show their support. But perhaps the biggest event was Monday night at the capitol building. Nicole Bidwell and Diane Umphress both sat side by side with Governor Doug Ducey, as an audience of people from all walks of life sat together focused on this one crucial issue.
“I can tell you there is no less political or divisive issue than the prevention of domestic violence and abuse”, said Governor Ducey.
We spoke with Governor Ducey after his speech he says you at home can help make a difference on this issue.
“First they can look for the signs of domestic violence and make sure no one is embarrassed to come forward get them to a shelter to make sure this doesn't happen in any of our communities.”, said Governor Ducey.
As day turned to night the crowd witnessed the capitol dome glowing purple, hopefully serving as a beacon of hope for the many victims of Domestic Violence.
“The world on the other side was not for me, yes I was a victim of Domestic Violence”, said Miller.