On Background

On Background With PCADV’s Communications Team

We know the media operate on tight deadlines. For your convenience we have provided information and statistics on domestic violence, warning signs, useful tips and links to sources. Feel free to use whatever you need for a story or sidebar. Please attribute the information to the source listed with it. If no source is listed, please attribute the information to PCADV.

For additional information and to set up interviews with experts and/or survivors, please contact our team. Their contact information is listed in the sidebar.

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Fatalities from Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania

Fatalities Chart.JPG Fatalities from Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania
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Funding for Domestic Violence Services in Pennsylvania:

State and Federal Funding For Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Services (for FY 2001-02 Through 2012-13)

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Guns and Domestic Violence

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Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • 1st statewide coalition against domestic violence in the nation
  • Has served 2.8 million victims since its founding in 1976
  • Network of 60 local domestic violence programs serving all 67 counties
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Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders

  • In 2011 statewide, 36,390 temporary orders were granted and 15,120 final orders were granted (6,274 after a hearing before a judge and 8,846 by agreement between the parties).
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Service Statistics for Domestic Violence Victims (for FY 2011/12)

  • 60 local shelter and counseling programs provided domestic violence services (shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, etc.) in all 67 Pennsylvania counties to 89,560 individuals (82,308 adults & 7,252 children).
  • 9,291 of the people served stayed in PCADV’s statewide network of shelters.
  • 5,091 requests for shelter could not be accommodated because of lack of space.
  • Local programs answered 130,654 hotline calls.

Help for Domestic Violence Victims and Their Families

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Warning Signs Someone May Be In Increased Danger

An abuse often escalates the domestic violence over time, both in frequency and severity. A victim may be in increased danger if the abuser:

  • Threatened homicide or suicide
  • Has access to guns
  • Attempted strangulation during previous assaults
  • Stalked the victim
  • Demonstrated extremely controlling, jealous and possessive behavior
  • Raped or threatened rape or sexual violence
  • Destroyed property belonging to the victim/family
  • Abused drugs or alcohol
  • Suffered from depression
  • Abused or threatened the victim/family/pet(s)
  • Witnessed intimate partner abuse as a child

Caution: These factors usually form a pattern of behavior to get and keep power and control over a partner. The presence or absence of any or all of these behaviors does not predict that someone will be hurt, killed or safe.

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Why Doesn´t the Victim Just Leave?

Domestic violence victims are often in heightened danger when they first leave or attempt to end a relationship. Sometimes they postpone leaving because of fear of or financial dependence on their abuser. Abusers may control victims’ money or ruin their credit. Often abusers isolate their victims from friends, family and other sources of help. Sometimes abusers threaten to take their victims’ children away from them. Victims can get help (find_help) in developing a safety plan, counseling, support, emergency shelter and other free and confidential services from their local domestic violence program.

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Where to Get Help in Pennsylvania

Each county in Pennsylvania is served by a domestic violence program, that offers services such as counseling, crisis intervention, housing, information, legal and medical advocacy, safety planning, shelter, support, and referrals. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visit our Find Help page to find the one nearest you.

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How to Help

  • Call 911 if you see/hear abuse.
  • Ask the victim if they are safe or need someone to talk to.
  • Explain that FREE and CONFIDENTIAL help is available for victims and their children at their local domestic violence program – call 1-800-799-7233 or visit pcadv.org.
  • Offer a ride to a local shelter, a safe place to make a phone call or to baby-sit while they meet with a domestic violence counselor.
  • Offer to keep their pet(s) if they go to a shelter.
  • If a friend or family member is the abuser, tell them there are no excuses for abuse, and they may lose their families, friends, home and job if it continues; hold them accountable for their behavior; and support their efforts to obtain appropriate batterers’ intervention treatment.
  • Volunteer your time at your local domestic violence program or donate money, phone cards, gift certificates, bus tickets and other items they need.
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