Milestones

35 Years of Social Change

Since 1976

  • Nearly 2.5 million domestic violence victims and their children have received counseling, emergency shelter or other supportive services from one of PA's 60 community-based domestic violence programs (PCADV founded as the nation's first statewide domestic violence coalition).
  • Pennsylvania courts have the authority to provide enforceable orders that protect survivors and their children from further abuse. (Passage of the Protection From Abuse Act - PA's first domestic violence law).

Since 1982

  • A portion of fines levied against every defendant who is convicted of, or pleads guilty or no contest to, a crime in PA supports domestic violence services. (Passage of PA Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services Funding Act)

Since 1984

  • It's a crime for a husband to rape his wife. (Passage of PA Spousal Sexual Assault Law, in collaboration with PA Coalition Against Rape)

Since 1986

  • Police no longer have to witness an act of violence before they can make an arrest when they respond to domestic calls. (Passage of PA Probable Cause Arrest Law)

Since 1987

  • Domestic violence services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all 67 PA counties. 
  • No domestic violence victim in PA has to travel more than 50 miles in any direction to reach safety in emergency shelter. 

Since 1988

  • Domestic violence victims have the assurance that any information they exchange with a domestic violence counselor/advocate is held in the strictest confidence and cannot be disclosed without their consent. This protection is the cornerstone of ensuring victims' safety and ability to seek help from domestic violence service professionals. (Amendments to the Protection From Abuse Act)

Since 1990

  • Judges must consider a parent's history and threat of violence against the other parent before awarding custody (Amendments to PA Child Custody Statute) 
  • Every marriage license issued in PA includes a $10 surcharge to support domestic violence services, amounting to approximately $700,000 in annual funding. (Amendment to PA Marriage Law)

Since 1991

  • More than 150,000 children who came with their abused parent to our shelters have had the opportunity to learn through a video, featuring the puppets of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, that they are not to blame for the violence in their homes, that no one expects them to make it better and that they can talk about their feeling, no matter how confusing they may be. (In collaboration with Family Communications, Inc.)
  • Anyone, anywhere in the country, can block their phone calls or lines to thwart Caller ID and maintain the privacy of their number. (Since 1991 In PA; 1994 nationwide)

Since 1993

  • PCADV and Medical Advocates from member programs have trained more than 320,000 healthcare providers to screen patients for domestic violence and refer them to local domestic violence services. (Implementation of PCADV's Medical Advocacy Projects)

Since 1994

  • Every police department in PA has a protocol in place to respond to domestic violence calls. (Amendments to the Protection From Abuse Act)
  • PCADV's federally-funded National Resource Center on Domestic Violence has provided technical assistance to more than 50,000 individuals and organizations and specialized training to over 30,000 advocates and allied professionals across the country to enhance domestic violence intervention and prevention efforts. 
  • Battered immigrants, including those who are not U.S. citizens, can apply for temporary legal status and work eligibility in the United States for up to four years and also can receive civil legal representation to petition for and achieve this status. (Since 1994, passage of federal Violence Against Women Act; reauthorization in 2000 & 2005)

Since 1996

  • No insurance company can deny coverage to a PA resident because she or he is a victim of domestic violence. (Since 1996 for life, health & disability; 2006 for homeowners and auto)

Since 1997

  • The Protection From Abuse Database (PFAD) has provided nearly 13,500 police, prosecutors, judges and criminal justice and court personnel throughout PA with access to 430,000 temporary and final Protection From Abuse Orders to protect the safety of victims, law enforcement and the community. (Implementation of PCADV's Protection From Abuse Database) 
  • Approximately 69 percent of all Protection from Abuse Orders are entered in PFAD in four hours or less time from their issuance. Every minute these orders are available to police translates into increased opportunities for enforcement of orders and enhanced victim safety. 
  • More than 11,000 DPW County Assistance Office workers received training on how to help domestic violence victims who need temporary public assistance to escape abuse. 
  • The Women of Color Network, a project of PCADV's National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, has provided technical assistance, training, leadership, organizing, networking, outreach, and conference opportunities and materials to close to 15,00 women of color, aspiring allies and organizations toward ending violence against women of color and their communities.

Since 2001

  • Thousands of victims seeking domestic violence services have had access to no-cost legal representation, through one of PCADV's 13 civil legal clinics, for issues such as child custody, child/spousal support, housing, public benefits and immigration matters. (Implementation of PCADV's Civil Legal Representation Project)

Since 2004

  • Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, who are forced to go into hiding, can prevent their assailants from tracking them down by enrolling in PA's Address Confidentiality Program. This program offers victims a legal substitute address that may be used to fulfill address requirements for court, school, employment and government records, such as drivers' licenses, library cards and utility billings. (Passage of PA Address Confidentiality Law, in collaboration with PA Coalition Against Rape and Widener University School of Law, Harrisburg Campus)

Since 2005

  • Judges have the authority to take away all of the guns in the possession of a domestic violence perpetrator. (Amendments to the Protection From Abuse Act)

Since 2007

  • The Women of Color Network has conducted a national dialogue about the workplace and movement challenges that women of color face in their programs, launching a "National Call to Action," and bringing together more than 1,000 women of color advocates and aspiring male and white allies in more than 20 teleconferences. This dialogue has resulted in a 28-page Special Edition Update that includes accounts of these incidents, a National Statement for Women of Color, a National Statement for Aspiring Allies, and a Young Women of Color Mentoring Tool, all being used in programs across the country.

Since 2008

  • Victim information, including anything that would jeopardize the safety of a victim, is protected from being disclosed as part of a public record request. (Passage of PA Open Records Law)

Since 2010

  • Judges are now required to make safety a priority when deciding child custody cases and must state their reasons for any order they enter. (Amendments to PA Custody Statute)
  • Pennsylvania school districts now have the resources and guidance to implement policies that address incidents of teen dating violence, and the State Board of Education must study whether schools should be required to provide teen dating violence education. (Passage of PA Omnibus Education Bill)
  • The Women of Color Network has launched a bi-annual National Call to Action Institute and Conference, providing face-to-face opportunity for women of color, men and white women to look at disproportionate rate of violence and homicide women of color victims experience, and put into action steps to increase and support the leadership of those who can best reach these victims - women of color advocates and activists.
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