The campaign against domestic violence in the Phoenix area is scoring only modest successes, reports the Arizona Republic. The 5-year-old effort has made strides in education, training, and outreach. Funding continues to pose problems, and shelters still turn away thousands of women every year. The chairman of the Maricopa Association of Government’s Regional Domestic Violence Council said he’d give the group’s efforts a B- to a C. “We’re just starting to address the issue,” said Phillip Westbrooks, who also serves as Chandler’s vice mayor.
Sojourner Center, which has sheltered battered women and their families since 1977, turned away two out of every three requests for shelter a decade ago. Although the center has nearly tripled its bed space, it now turns away nine out of every 10 requests. All 11 shelters in Maricopa County are full every day. From July 2002 to June 2003, shelters turned away more than 17,000 women and children in Arizona trying to escape from their abusers.