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Support domestic violence victims and survivors during national #GivingTuesday campaign

Giving Tuesday Support domestic violence victims and survivors during national #GivingTuesday campaign

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Tuesday, November 28 is known nationally as #GivingTuesday, a chance for people to support the charities they care about and help make a difference in the world.

On this day, and throughout the year, we'd like you to consider making a donation to PCADV. Any donation helps victims and survivors get back on their feet, aids prevention programs geared toward reducing abuse, and helps push legislation designed to reduce domestic violence-related homicides.

To donate, simply click the blue "Donate" button on the upper right side of the homepage. You'll be directed to our donation page, where you can specify where you want your money to go, whether it be to PCADV, you local domestic violence center, prevention efforts, and more.

At PCADV, we thank you greatly for your donation that will go a long way to ending domestic violence and making our communities safer for all.

PCADV to honor victims of domestic violence at PA State Capitol ceremony

DVAM_Social PCADV to honor victims of domestic violence at PA State Capitol ceremony

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence will pay homage to the victims killed in the last year at the hands of domestic violence during a ceremony Monday, October 16 at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Rotunda.

The 11 a.m. ceremony punctuates October as national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an annual campaign that honors victims and survivors, celebrates advocates, and shines a light on intimate partner violence.

State legislators will be reading the names of the more than 100 victims from their respective districts as part of the ceremony. Advocates from our community-based programs will be placing the victim names on a map of Pennsylvania, highlighting the statewide impact of the violence and the devastation the loss of life has caused families from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh.

As part of DVAM, many of our member programs across the state are conducting events and fundraisers such as 5K walk/runs, lunch and learns, ceremonies, and remembrances. For a full list of events statewide, click here.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, PCADV also kicks off its month-long Allstate® Foundation Purple Purse Challenge, an annual fundraiser to help support victims of domestic violence who lack the financial resources to leave abusive partners. PCADV is among an estimated 200 nonprofits nationwide who have helped raise about $5.5 million since the campaign began in 2014.

This year’s limited-edition purse was designed by tennis great Serena Williams exclusively for the campaign. The purple purse is symbolic, because it’s the color of domestic violence awareness and the purse represents a woman’s financial prowess.

Learn more or donate to our Purple Purse Challenge at https://www.crowdrise.com/pennsylvania-coalition-against-domestic-violence-purplepurse2017

Susan Higginbotham selected to lead the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence as new executive director

Higginbotham_headshot Susan Higginbotham selected to lead the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence as new executive director

After an extensive nationwide search for its new executive director, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) board of directors announced today that it has named Susan Higginbotham to lead the Coalition.
A committed advocate, Higginbotham brings to PCADV more than twenty-five years of experience dedicated to addressing mission-related issues including domestic violence, reproductive and sexual health, HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health. She has been in executive leadership for twenty years.

“Susan comes to PCADV with a wealth of experience in social justice and coalition work. Her philosophical ideas reflect the PCADV board of directors' vision for the organization's growth and development moving forward,” said board president, Michelle Robinson-Ritter. “Susan brings to PCADV a rich history of fundraising, successful team-building, systems advocacy and training, public policy reform and coalition building backed by a strong desire to lead the nation's first domestic violence coalition into the future.”

Higginbotham received her BA in psychology and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to earn her Master’s in Counselor Education and Psychology from North Carolina State University. Her education prepared her for direct service in the family planning and domestic and sexual violence fields.

Higginbotham has extensive experience—both professional and volunteer— working in collaboration with allied non-profits to address similar mission-based issues. For the last nine years, she has served as executive director of the Society of Family Planning (SFP) and the SFP Research Fund based in Philadelphia. Her prior experience includes president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Chester County and executive director of the AIDS Fund. Before relocating to Pennsylvania, Higginbotham worked as executive director of a community-based domestic violence center in South Carolina before going on to lead the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as executive director. She has also been an active volunteer on a number of non-profit boards including Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, Thrift for AIDS, Center for Responsible Funding and the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault, where she served on the drafting committee for 2000 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

“It’s an honor for me to have the opportunity to help lead PCADV through its next chapter.  On behalf of Pennsylvanians struggling with or at risk for intimate partner violence, I look forward to working with the member programs, our collaborators, the board, and staff to address safety needs and the myriad issues that serve to compound the impact of domestic violence,”
explained Higginbotham.

Higginbotham will join PCADV as executive director on October 16, 2017, during domestic violence awareness month. She will commence her time by joining staff and advocates to commemorate victims and survivors of domestic violence in a ceremony at the State Capitol on the same day.

PCADV unveils new mobile app to educate parents on teen dating issues

raising respect PCADV unveils new mobile app to educate parents on teen dating issues

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence has launched a new mobile app designed to give parents of teens and preteens advice on how to best discuss topics around communication and relationships.

The Raising Respect app, available on both Apple and Android devices, navigates topics such as: Healthy Relationships, Mindful Parenting, Sex and Pregnancy, Drugs, Alcohol, and Relationships, Relationships in Media, Gender and Sexual Orientation, Communication, Social Media and Cellphones, Self-care for Parents, Self-care for Adolescents.

It includes articles written by professionals in the field of domestic violence and prevention and includes tips on how to approach conversations with your teen on certain topics. It allows users to be notified when new articles are published in the app. You can also send questions to PCADV staff, and record your thoughts, impressions, reactions, successes, and failures within the app.

The app is designed to encourage parents to begin conversations with their children before they start dating and forming relationships outside the home and help parents navigate what can be delicate topics.

“Without open lines of communication, it can be difficult for parents to know what their sons or daughters are experiencing in their relationships,” PCADV Deputy Director Ellen Kramer said. “This app will not only prepare parents to discuss sensitive subjects such as physical violence and sexual abuse, but it can help build the foundation for enjoying a lifetime of healthy relationships.”

Learn more at www.raisingrespectapp.org. Raising Respect was developed through a grant from the Heinz Foundation.

PCADV to honor community activist and father of domestic violence victim

williamspratley copy PCADV to honor community activist and father of domestic violence victim

A community activist, who became a passionate advocate against domestic violence following the tragic loss of his daughter, will receive the Excellence in Male Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) during a ceremony before the Philadelphia Phillies game on Saturday, June 17.

William Spratley, who will throw out the first pitch, has spoke at dozens of rallies and community events throughout Philadelphia about the realities and dangers of intimate partner violence.

As part of PCADV’s #FathersDayPledgePA campaign, the Excellence in Male Leadership Award is given annually to a male community leader who demonstrates healthy masculinity, promotes healthy relationships, serves as a positive mentor to boys and young men, and is an ally to those working as advocates against domestic violence or sexual assault. Awards are distributed in the western, eastern, and central regions.

William has participated in the Lutheran Settlement House’s Men Can campaign, an innovative public awareness campaign to engage men in ending domestic violence. He also volunteers as a Community Awareness Representative for the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Women Against Abuse, educating the community on the prevalence of domestic violence and championing calls for change.

In 2014, Women Against Abuse named one of its safe havens “Ameya’s Place” in honor of William’s daughter. Ameya Spratley was stabbed and strangled to death by her boyfriend, Keith Moore, on Jan. 11, 2010. Moore was convicted of murder in 2012 and is serving a life sentence. “Ameya’s Place” - a tribute to the precious women, mothers, sisters and daughters who have been lost to domestic violence – is also a beacon of hope and safety to 600 women and children each year.

In addition to his accomplishments in the community, William is also raising his three grandsons – Ameya’s sons.

Williamsport police officer Jason Bolt honored with Central PA Excellence in Male Leadership award

bolt 250 Williamsport police officer Jason Bolt honored with Central PA Excellence in Male Leadership award

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence will present Williamsport detective Jason Bolt with the Central PA 2017 Excellence in Male Leadership award before the Sunday, June 11 Harrisburg Senators game at FNB Field as part of its Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence.

The award is given annually to a male community leader who demonstrates healthy masculinity, promotes healthy relationships, serves as a positive mentor to boys and young men, and is an ally to those working as advocates against domestic violence or sexual assault. Awards are distributed in the western, eastern, and central regions.

Agent Bolt, the father of two young boys, served for nine years as a school resource officer in the Williamsport Area School District where he was a role model for students and a positive male influence in the community.

Most recently, Agent Bolt spoke as a panelist on the topics of masculinity, stereotypes, and sexual violence on a community forum held by the Williamsport domestic violence shelter and support center Wise Options to raise awareness for April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Agent Bolt’s leadership qualities and actions both as a law enforcement member and father demonstrate how deserving he is of this award,” said Greg Conrad, Senior Vice President and Regional Banking Executive at F.N.B. Corporation, a sponsor of the Father’s Day Pledge. “We hope that people across Pennsylvania will sign the Father’s Day Pledge and join our efforts to create stronger, safer communities for everyone.”

PCADV honors Elizabeth Forward football coach Mike Collodi with Excellence in Male Leadership Award

Mike Collodi 250.jpeg PCADV honors Elizabeth Forward football coach Mike Collodi with Excellence in Male Leadership Award

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) has announced Elizabeth Forward head football coach and South Park High School teacher Mike Collodi as the winner of the 2017 Excellence in Male Leadership Award in the western Pennsylvania region.

The award is given annually to a male community leader who demonstrates healthy masculinity, promotes healthy relationships, serves as a positive mentor to boys and young men, and is an ally to those working as advocates against domestic violence or sexual assault. Awards are distributed in the western, eastern, and central regions.

Mike’s accomplishments include:

• Implementing the Coaching Boys into Men program into the football team during the 2016 season.
• Organizing a fundraising walk for Ovarian Cancer Research.
• Initiating a ‘character day’ for the football team where he invited a Marine to talk about leadership, a college strength coach to discuss the dangers of steroids, a guidance counselor to discuss academics, and a representative from the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) to talk about sexual violence.

PCADV and community leaders will honor Mike at a ceremony Sunday evening, May 28, just prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park against the New York Mets. Mike will also throw out the first pitch.

“In addition to Coaching Boys into Men and other initiatives, Mike routinely helps out his players by taking them to dinner, bringing them food, and donating clothes at his own expense,” the nominating party wrote. “As a coach, Mike has a long-lasting impact on his current and former players. His actions are the epitome of excellent male leadership.”

The Father’s Day Pledge, found at www.pasaysnomore.com, celebrates fathers as role models and calls on men to take a stand against domestic violence and sexual assault. Since 2013, thousands of men and women across Pennsylvania have pledged to end gender violence.

PCADV encourages men to visit the PA Says No More site to sign the Father’s Day Pledge, or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pcadvorg or Twitter at @PCADVorg.

Advocates send clear message: It’s time to end sexual assault & domestic violence

Advocacy Day 250 Advocates send clear message: It’s time to end sexual assault & domestic violence

Domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and awareness advocates gathered at the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg on Monday for Advocacy Day 2017, speaking with legislators about key legislation to help survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence and providing information to the public about ways we can work to end domestic violence and sexual assault in our communities.

The annual rally organized by PCADV and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) happens in April in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s speakers included Delilah Rumburg, Chief Executive Officer of PCAR, State Rep. Rosemary Brown (R-119), Millersville University Police Chief Peter Anders, State Sen. Tom Killion (R-9), and Ellen Kramer, Deputy Director, Program Services, PCADV.

“We all have a role to play in ending this public health epidemic,” said Ellen Kramer, Deputy Director for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV). “From fully funding domestic violence and rape crisis centers to enacting legislation that holds offenders accountable, to promoting a culture of civic engagement, respect, and safety.”

As part of Advocacy Day, the House passed a resolution, introduced by Rep. Rosemary Brown, designating April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The action conveyed the message that it’s time to bring even more awareness to preventive efforts to stop sexual assault. There are 50 rape crisis centers in Pennsylvania and serve more than 30,000 victims each year. There are also 60 domestic violence centers that serve nearly 90,000 victims yearly.

Lawmakers introduce legislation to strengthen PFA Act, enhance victim and community safety

MAP_Facebook_sml Lawmakers introduce legislation to strengthen PFA Act enhance victim and community safety

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence applauds the efforts of state senators who have recently introduced legislation that will strengthen the Commonwealth’s Protection from Abuse Act and enhance victim and community safety.

The statewide coalition worked closely with Sen. Tom Killion, R-Glen Mills, to draft Senate Bill 501 – the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Bill – which will go a long way to protect victims of domestic violence, their children, the community, and law enforcement.

The measure:

• Requires convicted abusers/defendants subject to active PFAs to promptly surrender firearms and other weapons.
• Makes it more difficult for abusers to access weapons once they have been turned in by ensuring those weapons were turned over to law enforcement or licensed firearms dealers.
• Requires abusers subject to lifetime gun prohibition to relinquish firearms within 24 hours following a conviction for specified domestic violence crimes.
• Ensures that defendants are notified of their right to show evidence, be represented by an attorney and have witnesses provide testimony at hearings.
• Includes a provision to clarify under what circumstances a defendant can be evicted from the victim’s residence or household.
• Includes a provision that will give the defendant, upon request, a 96-hour continuance to adequately prepare for a final order hearing.

In drafting the legislation, PCADV worked closely with allies and stakeholder groups to ensure a collaborative approach toward a stronger PFA Act that emphasizes victim and community safety.

Three other companion bills were also introduced: Senate Bill 500 (Service of PFA Orders), Sen. Randy Vulakovich; Senate Bill 502 (Extension of PFA Orders), Sen. Tom McGarrigle; and Senate Bill 449 (Tierne’s Law – Risk Assessments), Sen. Camera Bartolotta. The package of legislation was devised after considering the recommendations of the bi-partisan Joint State Government Commission’s staff study on PFAs in Pennsylvania. It aligns with PCADV’s mission of improving the safety of domestic violence victims and the community as a whole.

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