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Tue, Feb. 18

Volunteers needed to help victims of violence<br>

Victim services are managed at the county level and are based in Flagstaff. If at least 10 volunteers get together, the county will provide confidentiality and sensitivity training, as well as instruction in available resources and how to help victims get connected.

“The way we do it is not how it’s done in most places,” said Davis. “In other places there is someone who can work with the victim and direct them to shelters and food stamps, and who can let them know their options.”

Although she works for Xanterra, Davis said she is interested in launching a network that is community-wide. She is working South Rim District Ranger Mike Archer and South Rim Shift Supervisor Karyn Restin to develop a support system that will aid both victims and law enforcement.

“We think it’s a great idea,” Restin said. “There are no social services here. Flagstaff is the closest for domestic violence victim services.”

Law enforcement’s job, she said, is to separate the parties and figure out who is the predominant aggressor. They arrest the person if appropriate and refer the victim to the county for support. Not many follow through, she said.

“Based on my training and experience, very few people will contact outside help for domestic violence,” she said.

Restin said the most effective intervention is to have someone on the scene immediately, or at least be available to contact the victim right away.

“They need to be able to provide support for the victim and to facilitate them into a real, formal domestic violence support network,” Restin said.

“The hurdle would be getting volunteers together to provide 24-7 service,” Davis said.

Davis and Restin say that domestic violence is an issue in the Grand Canyon community.

“We have a lot of domestic violence here,” said Restin. “It’s isolated, there is a low-income population, people are treansient and they live in close quarters.”

According to Davis, domestic violence affects one in three Arizona residents and state-wide, every five minutes a law enforcement official responds to a domestic violence call. One or more children witness a domestic violence incident every 39 minutes. A big percentage of those cases involve drinking as well, she said.

Because of the sensitivity surrounding domestic violence cases, Davis said volunteers will be screened and must provide references.

For more information, contact Davis at 638-2526, ext. 6024.

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