SHELTER FROM THE STORM
Domestic Violence is a prevalent issue facing men and women in the United States. The only way to put an end to domestic violence is to acknowledge it and report it. With the help of the government, local charities and the concern of Tucson community members, many different resources have been created to help and support victims of domestic violence as well as rape.
Every year in the United States hundreds of thousands of domestic violence crimes are committed, many of which go unreported. According to a National Crime Victimization survey, "over two-thirds of violent victimization against women were by someone known to them"(Bachman, pg.1). Approximately 5% were relatives other than husbands, 35% were aquantences, and nearly 28% were intimates such as husbands or boyfriends. Females experienced more than 10 times as many incidences of violence by their companion than males. Women experience 572,032 violent victimizations by their significant other, while the number of incidents for men has been 48,983 on average, each year. In an article to Health Care Providers, it has been reported that medical expenses associated with domestic violence have accelerated to $3-5 billion dollars annually and continues to rise. "Almost 6 times as many women victimized by intimates (18%) as those victimized by strangers (3%) did not report their violent victimization to police because they feared reprisal from the offender"(Bachman, p.1). In the Greater Tucson area approximately 16,000 charges are filed each year, at least half of which result in in-custody arrests. A statistics report from the Tucson Police Department for the twelve month period of March 1998 to February 1999 shows that only 384 phone calls were received on sexual assault. 1209 calls were received reporting offenses against family-child. These numbers are very alarming, but even more alarming is the countless domestic violence occurrences that go unreported each year. Too many people experience some degree of domestic violence and go without reporting it due to fear, insecurity, and even not knowing whom to turn to. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and there is definitely no excuse for not reporting it.
There has been improvement within the Tucson community of reporting domestic violence. In 1991, Pima County Juvenile Court was faced with 431 referrals, by 1998 there were 1,210. According to Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall, the Victim Witness program deals with 2,400 victims of domestic violence a year. "It’s the fastest-growing crime among Pima County juveniles, she added"(Cook). In actuality, it is the fastest-growing reported crime. With the increased rate of reports there has been an increased rate of support to those in need. Now that it is apparent that there is help available, the question to answer is: "Where do I turn now?" The following groups have created shelters and places to turn when someone has become the victim of...