TUCSON, ARIZONA – At Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse (Emerge), we believe that safety is the foundation for a community free from abuse. The Arizona Supreme Court decision on April 9, 2024 to uphold a century old abortion ban will endanger millions.

Just weeks ago, Emerge celebrated that the Pima County Board of Supervisors declared April Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Having worked with domestic violence (DV) survivors for over 45 years, we understand how often sexual assault and reproductive coercion are used as a means to assert power and control in abusive relationships. This law will force survivors of sexual violence to carry unwanted pregnancies—further stripping them of power over their own bodies. 

As with all systemic forms of oppression, this law will present the greatest danger to the people who are already the most vulnerable. The maternal mortality rate of Black women in this county is nearly three times that of white women. Moreover, Black women experience sexual coercion at double the rate of white women.

“These disparities will only increase when the state is allowed to force pregnancies,” said Anna Harper, Executive VP and Chief Strategy Officer at Emerge. “With the lack of humanity afforded to rape and incest cases and the creation of further risk in DV situations overall, this ruling has far reaching implications.”

The Supreme Court decisions do not reflect the voices or needs of our community. Since 2022, there has been an effort to get an amendment to Arizona’s constitution on the ballot. If passed, it would overrule the Arizona Supreme Court decision and establish the fundamental right to abortion care in Arizona. Through whatever avenues they choose to do so, we are hopeful that our community will stand with survivors and use our collective voice to protect fundamental rights.

Together, we can help return power and agency to survivors who deserve every opportunity to experience liberation from abuse.

Emerge Launches New Hiring Initiative

TUCSON, ARIZONA – Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse (Emerge) is undergoing a process of transforming our community, culture, and practices to prioritize the safety, equity and full humanity of all people. To accomplish these goals, Emerge invites those interested in ending gender-based violence in our community to join in this evolution through a nationwide hiring initiative beginning this month. Emerge will host three meet-and-greet events to introduce our work and values to the community. These events will take place on November 29 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm and on December 1 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Those interested can register for the following dates:
During these meet-and-greet sessions, attendees will learn how values such as love, safety, responsibility and repair, innovation, and liberation are at the core of Emerge’s work supporting survivors as well as partnerships and community outreach efforts.
Emerge is actively building a community that centers and honors the experiences and intersectional identities of all survivors. Everyone at Emerge has committed to providing our community with domestic violence support services and education around prevention with respect to the whole person. Emerge prioritizes accountability with love and uses our vulnerabilities as a source of learning and growth. If you desire to reimagine a community where everyone can embrace and experience safety, we invite you to apply for one of the available direct services or administrative positions. 
Those interested in learning about current employment opportunities will have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with Emerge staff from a variety of programs across the agency, including the Men’s Education Program, Community-Based Services, Emergency Services, and administration. Job seekers who submit their application by December 2 will have the opportunity to move into an expedited hiring process in early December, with an estimated start date in January 2023, if selected. Applications submitted after December 2 will continue to be considered; however, those applicants may only be scheduled for an interview after the start of the new year.
Through this new hiring initiative, newly hired employees will also benefit from a one-time hiring bonus awarded after 90 days in the organization.
Emerge invites those who are willing to confront violence and privilege, with the goal of community healing, and those passionate about being in service to all survivors to view available opportunities and apply here: https://emergecenter.org/about-emerge/employment

Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse announces 2022 emergency shelter renovation to provide more COVID-safe and trauma-informed spaces for survivors of domestic abuse

TUCSON, Ariz. – November 9, 2021 – Thanks to matching investments of $1,000,000 each made by Pima County, the City of Tucson, and an anonymous donor honoring the Connie Hillman Family Foundation, Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse will renovate and expand our specialized emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors and their children.
Pre-pandemic, Emerge’s shelter facility was 100% communal – shared bedrooms, shared bathrooms, shared kitchen, and dining room. For many years, Emerge has been exploring a non-congregate shelter model to mitigate the many challenges trauma survivors can experience when sharing spaces with strangers during a tumultuous, frightening, and highly personal moment in their lives.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the communal model neither protected the health and well-being of participants and staff members, nor did it prevent the spread of the virus. Some survivors even chose to stay in their abusive homes because that felt more manageable than avoiding the risk of COVID in a communal facility. Therefore, in July 2020, Emerge relocated its emergency shelter operations to a temporary non-congregate facility in partnership with a local business owner, giving survivors the ability to flee violence in their homes while also protecting their health.
Though effective in mitigating the risks associated with the pandemic, this change came at a cost. In addition to the difficulties inherent in running a shelter out of a third-party commercial business, the temporary setting doesn’t allow for shared space where program participants and their children can form a sense of community.
The renovation of Emerge’s facility now planned for 2022 will increase the number of non-congregate living spaces at our shelter from 13 to 28, and each family will have a self-contained unit (bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette), which will provide a private healing space and will mitigate the spread of COVID and other communicable illnesses.
“This new design will allow us to serve significantly more families in their own unit than what our current shelter configuration allows, and shared community areas will provide the space for children to play and families to connect,” Ed Sakwa, Emerge CEO, said.
Sakwa also noted “It’s also much more costly to operate at the temporary facility. The building renovation will take 12–15 months to complete, and the COVID-relief federal funds that are currently sustaining temporary shelter arrangement are quickly running out.”
As part of their support, the anonymous donor honoring the Connie Hillman Family Foundation has issued a challenge to the community to match their gift. For the next three years, new and increased donations to Emerge will be matched so that $1 will be contributed for the shelter renovation by the anonymous donor for every $2 raised in the community for program operations (see details below).
Community members who want to support Emerge with a donation can visit https://emergecenter.org/give/.
The Director of the Pima County Behavioral Health Department, Paula Perrera said “Pima County is committed to supporting the needs of victims of crime. In this instance, Pima County is proud to support the excellent work of Emerge through use of American Rescue Plan Act funding to better the lives of Pima County residents and is looking forward to the finished product.”
Mayor Regina Romero added, “I am proud to support this important investment and partnership with Emerge, which will help provide a safe place for more domestic abuse survivors and their families to heal. Investing in services for survivors and prevention efforts is the right thing to do and will help promote community safety, health, and wellness.” 

Challenge Grant Details

Between November 1, 2021 – October 31, 2024, donations from the community (individuals, groups, businesses, and foundations) will be matched by an anonymous donor at a rate of $1 for every $2 of eligible community donations as follows:
  • For new donors to Emerge: the full amount of any donation will count toward the match (e.g., a gift of $100 will be leveraged to become $150)
  • For donors who made gifts to Emerge prior to November 2020, but who have not donated over the past 12 months: the full amount of any donation will count toward the match
  • For donors who made gifts to Emerge between November 2020 – October 2021: any increase above the amount donated from November 2020 – October 2021 will be counted toward the match

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Press Conference to be Held TONIGHT to Highlight Domestic Abuse Epidemic in Pima County
TUCSON, ARIZONA – Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse and the Pima County Attorney’s Office will be holding a press conference in conjunction with representatives from local

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