Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo addresses the fear and control over victims of domestic violence and advocates for more funding


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Supervisor Steve Gallardo speaking to county employees in regards to domestic violence

Preston Grace, Reporter

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

On Thursday, Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor, Steve Gallardo, addressed county employees on what the county has been doing—and how it will push further to implement programs to aid victims and fight this major issue.

The number of domestic violence incidents in Maricopa County increased during the pandemic, and according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence (ACESDV) “102 people died in Arizona last year as result of domestic violence. Of those deaths, 64% occurred in Maricopa County.”

Because of this, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors invested $15 million in domestic violence support services for Maricopa County residents.

During the event, a survivor of domestic violence told her story.

“I survived being shot in the head by the father of my children,” the speaker said. “He was recently sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison, and by the grace of God, I’m alive, my children and I are safe, happy, and we have finally found peace.”

“What happened to me happens more often than we think, but not every victim survives,” the speaker said.

Supervisor Gallardo explained how the $15 million investment has impacted District 5.

“It has impacted my district hugely,” Gallardo said. “We have a large population, and many of the families in the district only speak Spanish.” For us to be able to provide resources for many of the care providers in the hard-to-reach neighborhoods does a world of good.”

Still, Gallardo doesn’t believe that the investment is nearly enough to bring adequate domestic violence support services into the community.

“I think $15 million is just a drop in the bucket,” Gallardo said. “I think that the investment should be much, much more.”

Physical violence is one devastating aspect, but Gallardo told Northeast Valley News that domestic violence can come in a multitude of ways.

“It comes in various different ways, some folks might be in a domestic violence situation, but don’t realize it. People feel that domestic violence is purely physical violence, and it’s not. It can be emotional, verbal, financial, or mental, and we need to bring awareness to it and continue to educate the community,” Gallardo said.

Gallardo would like to see the Arizona legislature put more resources into domestic violence legislation.

“We need to be able to have resources for not only programs and services, we need to have resources for law enforcement, for them to be able to do their jobs. We need to continue to build awareness, and that is a budgetary issue…domestic violence has to be more of a priority in the state legislature.”

Gallardo is tasking Maricopa County to continue to prioritize domestic violence so they can act immediately in order to provide financial assistance to victims and a means to escape from threatening, unsafe and unhealthy conditions.