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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Emerge! Center Against Domestic Violence expands services

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse has expanded their community-based services, called Voices Against Violence, to a new location at 4101 E. 22nd St.

Emerge! was first established in 2008 when Brewster Center Domestic Violence Services and Tucson Centers for Women and Children came together to form Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

The newly renovated site, which came as a result of a growing demand for the services offered by the organization, can accommodate more staff and provide program participants with a more comfortable and positive environment.

“Our mission, which we all passionately believe in, is to provide the opportunity to create, sustain and celebrate a life free from abuse,” said Sarah Jimenez-Valdez, executive assistant at Emerge!.

Emerge!, according to Jimenez-Valdez, provides a variety of services that aim to meet the needs of the Tucson community, such as a 24-hour bilingual hotline, emergency shelter, housing programs and education and volunteer programs.

The center currently has two community based sites, a confidential shelter and a transitional housing property in addition to their administrative offices, Jimenez-Valdez said.

Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO of the center, said that domestic abuse impacts everyone in some way, adding that someone dies every three days in Arizona as a result of domestic violence.

“If the community as a whole understands the complexity and seriousness of the issue of domestic violence, and commits to taking a proactive role in creating safety, we can more effectively work together to end domestic violence,” Mercurio-Sakwa said.

Last year, 5,459 people were served through Emerge! programs and more than 2,264 people were served in community-based services, according to Caitlin Beckett, development officer with the organization.

According to Jimenez-Valdez, the center has served as an educational platform for the Tucson community, educating 1,332 people on the effects of domestic violence on victims and children. The center also teaches the community how to find help.

Emerge! provided a total of 19,723 safe nights to 343 adults and 254 children, Beckett said.

Emerge! offers safety planning, individualized case management, family services and legal support.

“Additionally, one in four women will be impacted by domestic abuse in her lifetime, so statistically speaking, we all have someone in our life who we care about that has been, or will be, affected by domestic abuse,” he said.

Emerge! has 67 employees and has been voted to The NonProfit Times’ Best Places To Work since 2011.

“If you are in a violent situation, the best thing to do is to ask for support,” Mercurio-Sakwa said. “Domestic violence is not a private matter. It’s a serious and sometimes lethal issue. You don’t have to deal with it alone and it’s okay to ask for help.”

The 24-hour bilingual hotline is (520) 795-4266.

Follow Terrie Brianna on Twitter.

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