Beginning July 1, New Life Center, the largest domestic violence shelter in Arizona and one of the largest in the country, extended its mobile crisis support team to be available 24/7 for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and human trafficking. Through the center, victims receive access to crisis hotline support, lay legal advocacy, safety planning, case management, court accompaniment, psychoeducational support groups, emotional support and more. The mobile crisis line number is 623-215-8072.
“In the wake of COVID-19, another silent global crisis came to light,” said Myriah Mhoon, CEO of New Life Center. “Because of stay-at-home orders, victims became even more isolated with their abusers in dangerous, life-threatening situations. Victims of domestic violence not only had more barriers preventing them from accessing help, but the financial, societal and emotional stress of the pandemic are expected to have exacerbated especially violent outbursts from abusers.”
Coronavirus made it exceedingly difficult for victims to access the resources needed to safely end an abusive relationship, and the support team extension hopes to combat this by giving them as many options as possible.
Mobile advocates, who support victims through all stages of the domestic violence process, will be available to provide crisis response to hospitals and other secure locations with law enforcement, as well as accompaniment to forensic exams. Outside of immediate crisis support, advocates also meet with clients initially to complete an intake, which includes a lethality assessment, a safety plan and a needs assessment. Clients identify goals and are provided case management and support with the outreach services.
“We want survivors to have access to resources to keep themselves and their families safe,” Mhoon said. “Creating safety plans, having legal aid and being part of a community that supports you can be crucial. The trauma does not end when a victim leaves, the work that comes after is necessary in ensuring that person can gain self-sufficiency, independence and confidence.”
New Life Center serves more than one thousand people annually through its emergency shelter and outreach support programs. The main shelter’s capacity of 104 beds is continuously full, where more than 70% of the population are children. In 2017, New Life Center, served more children and provided more bed nights than any other single facility providing emergency shelter to domestic violence survivors in Arizona.
For more information about the center, including ways to donate and a list of ongoing needs, please visit NewLifeCtr.org or follow on Facebook.com/NewLifeCtr.