Public awareness, using the city of Phoenix as a model, system reform, coordinated services and partnerships are all part of a plan to make domestic violence a focus for the city of Phoenix.
The city dedicated $200,000 recently to the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence to come up with a long-term plan to address domestic violence in the city. The road map of that plan was presented to the City Council on Tuesday.
The plan includes five pillars. The first pillar will be community awareness.
“At the corner of the proposal you’ll hear today are the substantive reforms that need to be made to the various systems that affect the city of Phoenix and victims, but even if we were able to implement every one of the things we’re going to propose to you, that alone would not make Phoenix a leader in domestic violence,” said Lucia Howard, a board member of the O’Connor House. “Although we could improve the systems, unless we actually look at the causes of domestic violence and try to do something about that we can’t be a leader.”
Howard said she hopes the public campaign the city will kick off will raise awareness that domestic violence is a problem and is unacceptable, much like drunk driving and bullying campaigns that have been done in the past.
The community awareness component will also include a website for victims and a curriculum to be taught in schools.
The second pillar of the plan calls for making the city a model. The ethics manual for city employees should reflect the city’s commitment.
The city also hopes to create a “No Wrong Door” plan so that employees can approach any supervisor within the city and be able to find resources.
A system reform to focus on domestic violence was the third pillar of the plan. Domestic violence advocates will reinstitute a domestic violence review team and analyze offender treatment programs for effectiveness.
The city hopes coordinated services, making sure every employee and every city department can refer victims of domestic violence to services, will help the city be more efficient.
The final pillar is partnerships. The city hopes to create partnerships with the private sector and reach out to the community to identify more resources and help spread the word.
The team that created the road map consisted of many multidisciplinary residents of Phoenix and city staff. The city manager’s trial budget does call for additional funding to help further this plan.
“The city of Phoenix has taken the first step,” said City Councilman Sal DiCiccio in a statement. “But, as pointed out (in the April 9 meeting), government cannot be the only driver. Cities, states and the citizens must all come together and work hard toward ending domestic violence. I look forward to continuing this work and keeping Phoenix a national leader in ending domestic violence.”
DiCiccio will be part of a panel discussion on domestic violence on Tuesday, April 16. Connecting to Serve and the Ahwatukee Community Network invite the community to come and learn from experts the extent of the problem and how they can help. The meeting will be from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Mountain Park Senior Living, 4475 E. Knox. Road.
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