Bolstered by a town of Payson proclamation, the Time Out Domestic Violence Shelter plans a candlelight vigil this month for the victims of domestic violence — which remains a tragically common event in Rim Country.
Advocates will gather at Town Hall on Oct. 5 for the vigil and walk to the Methodist Church, the highlight of the now officially declared “Domestic Violence Month” in Payson.
The shelter in the past year has provided some 9,300 nights of shelter to women and children fleeing violent relationships, thanks in part to 16,000 volunteer hours donated by 146 volunteers.
All told, the group has sheltered 165 women and children and provided services of various sorts to another 239 people.
The shelter has scrambled to replace dwindling state support with private donations, which makes the vigil and an Oct. 6 radio fund-raising drive especially important, together with the proceeds from the group’s thrift shop.
In 2010, Payson police reported 337 cases of domestic violence and made 201 arrests, a 6 percent increase in reports over 2009.
By contrast, in that same period total crime in Payson dropped by 7 percent to 675, including 314 thefts, 94 burglaries and 245 assaults.
Domestic violence cases remain the most dangerous calls for police officers nationally.
The Payson council last week officially declared October Domestic Violence Month and lauded the Time Out employees for “accomplishing their mission of helping individuals break the cycle of abuse in their lives.”
Various national studies suggest that one in three women suffer sexual of physical violence in their lifetime, most often at the hands of a partner or family member.