Gilbert Mayor: Racism, Homophobia, Transphobia, Ageism, Discrimination Perpetuate Domestic Violence

September 24, 2021

By Corinne Murdock |

During Tuesday’s city council meeting, the town of Gilbert declared that racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and discrimination perpetuate domestic violence. The proclamation came from Mayor Brigette Peterson while establishing this October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The entirety of the proclamation is reproduced below:

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH[:] WHEREAS, domestic violence is a serious crime affecting over 4 million Americans each year of all races, ages, gender, and income levels; and WHEREAS, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism and discrimination based on physical ability, nationality or other factors help to perpetuate domestic violence and make finding safety even more difficult for some victims; WHEREAS, in just one day, across the U.S. and its territories, nearly 75,000 victims of domestic violence sought services from domestic violence programs and shelters. That same day, more than 9,000 requests for services, including emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation, could not be provided because programs lacked the resources to meet victims’ needs; and WHEREAS, domestic violence impacts millions of people each year, but it can be prevented. Preventing domestic violence requires the collective voice and power of individuals, families, institutions, and systems; and WHEREAS, Gilbert has dedicated Family Violence officers, Police Counselors and Victim Advocates saving lives every day; and WHEREAS, Gilbert joins with others across Arizona and the nation in supporting victims of domestic violence, as well as local programs, state coalitions, national organizations, and other agencies nationwide who are committed to increasing public awareness of domestic violence and sending a clear message to abusers that domestic violence is not tolerated in Gilbert; NOW THEREFORE, I, Brigette Peterson, Mayor of the Town of Gilbert, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2021 as: DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH in Gilbert, Arizona and urge our citizens to work together to eliminate domestic violence from our community. In witness thereof, I hereby set my hand and affix the Official Seal of the Office of the Mayor, Town of Gilbert, Arizona, and this 21st day of September, 2021. (emphasis added)

It is unclear how racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and discrimination perpetuate domestic violence. AZ Free News requested Peterson to clarify why these four were linked to domestic violence. The mayor didn’t respond by press time.

Local and state governments have designated October as domestic violence awareness month since the 1980s.

The town of Gilbert has issued official statements condemning racism and generally notes its opposition to discrimination in any forms. It hasn’t issued any statements condemning transphobia, homophobia, or ageism.

The mayor’s stance against discrimination in any form apparently doesn’t align with her personal conduct. Last month, reports revealed that Peterson is facing a discrimination complaint from current employee. The employee, Derek Konofalski, claimed the mayor was exercising a personal vendetta against him because of her dislike for the town logo and him being part of the digital government team. The complaint tied in with other complaints against the mayor concerning ethics and conduct.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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