Ahwatukee Community Network

Jennifer Emperador speaks to a group at the Ahwatukee Community Network meeting Tuesday, April 16. Emperador was part of a panel discussing domestic violence in the city of Phoenix.

Phoenix is continuing to evaluate ways to combat domestic violence through pilot programs, new protocol, new training and new curriculum.

The Human Trafficking Task Force has been asked to present updates to the City Council on a regular basis to share what is being done with the city’s domestic violence road map. At the City Council Policy Session Tuesday, Sept. 23 the group had nothing but positive news to share.

Orders of protection are being served with less danger to victims, more evidence is being collected in strangulation cases and more calls for help are being answered. A juvenile block grant of $122,000 will be used to create a curriculum for Phoenix schools to present to students to raise awareness.

Within the city the Phoenix employee manual has been updated with better resources for supervisors whose employees may be experiencing domestic violence.

At the meeting City Councilman Sal DiCiccio asked the group to come up with a list of their needs and a timeline to meet those needs. That list will be presented to the council at a future meeting.

“You have an incredibly united city supporting your efforts on this,” DiCiccio said. “When you talk about this, it is something you cannot believe occurs. When you talk about selling a 12-year-old girl, or boy, a child, what that does to that child and our society is disgusting. It’s disgusting to think it could happen down the street or in our community.”

The city has been working with partners across the Valley on better addressing domestic violence over the past 18 months. With the Super Bowl coming to Phoenix in 2016, it’s an issue the council plans to keep a focus on.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the city is working on ramping up its 2014 campaign to Paint Phoenix Purple. For more information, visit paintphoenixpurple.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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