By Jenna-Lee Neff
Victims of domestic violence often find themselves struggling to leave because they don’t have the financial resources to survive outside of the relationship. Valley nonprofit Control Alt Delete, LLC is working to make sure that victims can safely find a way out.
“Control Alt Delete helps people escape domestic violence by removing the barriers that keep them in unsafe situations,” says its president and founder Laura Pahules. “Ninety nine percent of all abuse survivors are financially abused and may be ready to leave but do not have the funds for something as little as gas for their car.”
In 2019, Arizona domestic violence programs served 1,539 people in a single day and there were 96 domestic violence related deaths throughout the year according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Control Alt Delete was founded the same year, and since then, they have facilitated more than 1,800 escapes from domestic violence situations, which have included more than 3,800 children and 1,200 pets.
“What we know about domestic violence survivors is that they will have a higher likelihood of not returning to the abuser if they have a support system,” Pahules says. “Many of the escapes we help with have friends or family that can help but the survivor has no way to get to them; Control Alt Delete bridges that gap by providing fuel and transportation.”
Not only does the organization provide financial support for fuel, but every in-person escape receives a basic immediate needs bin filled with hygiene and other essential items to help survivors through their escape and transition away from the relationship with dignity.
For survivors who remain in the home after the abuser has been arrested, Control Alt Delete can assist in changing door locks, installing window locks and even installing security camera systems.
Pahules says that financial support and donation drives are both great ways to get involved with Control Alt Delete. The organization is a qualifying organization under the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit and donations make the home security program and basic immediate need bins possible.
“The average cost of a Control Alt Delete escape is $12.28 per person,” she says. “$12.28 to save a life.”
Control Alt Delete is a volunteer-run organization with no overhead cost and no state or federal funding. According to Pahules, 100 percent of every donation made to the organization goes directly toward helping people escape domestic violence.
She adds that the easiest way to support the organization and help with domestic violence awareness is to like, follow and share posts across social media platforms.
“Prior to the pandemic, the national statistics showed that one in four women and one in nine men were in abusive relationships,” Pahules shares. “I believe those numbers may have changed to even more people currently being abused. Domestic violence in rampant and widespread, with no socioeconomic distinction.”
Pahules offers one final thought to those in a domestic violence environment, or those who know someone in a domestic violence environment: “You are not alone,” she says. “I believe you. There is help.”
To learn more about Control Alt Delete, visit dvcontrolaltdelete.org. To keep up with the latest organization news and events, follow along on Facebook and Instagram at @dv.ctrlaltdel and Twitter at @dvctrlaltdel.
Jenna-Lee Neff is a freelance journalist, digital audience analyst, and nonprofit public relations professional. Learn more about her work at jennaleeneff.com.