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PCADV to honor community activist and father of domestic violence victim at Phillies game on Saturday

williamspratley copy PCADV to honor community activist and father of domestic violence victim at Phillies game on Saturday

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.

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.

“William’s journey from tragedy and loss to hope and change is an inspiration,” said Jeannine L. Lisitski, Executive Director and President of Women Against Abuse. “And at the heart of this, he is ensuring his grandsons can thrive in a peaceful home. As the boys grow older, William has been educating them on healthy, loving relationships. In this way, his daughter’s legacy lives on.”

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.

‘Raising Respect.’ PCADV unveils new mobile app to educate parents on teen dating issues

raising respect ‘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.

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

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.

PCADV’s Carole Alexy honored in Women of Courage awards

Alexy_WOC Award_250 PCADV’s Carole Alexy honored in Women of Courage awards

Carole Alexy, whose career has spanned four decades as an advocate to end violence against women, was honored this morning with a Women of Courage award by the Lutheran Settlement House.

Alexy, the longest serving employee at Susquehanna Twp.-based Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, began her career as a founding volunteer at A Women’s Place, a domestic violence prevention organization and shelter in Bucks County.

She worked at the shelter at a time when the next closest facility was 35 miles away with few public transportation options to get there. Alexy has been with PCADV since 1983 where she now serves as Assistant to the Director for Special Projects, responsible for linking the world of government funding and regulations with the reality of managing daily life in local programs.

During her tenure, PCADV has grown to include 60 community-based domestic violence prevention programs serving all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

PCADV announces five new Board of Director members

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence announced today that five new members have been elected to its Board of Directors. The new group of Directors includes four community members and one representative from the Coalition’s membership.

Board members serve two-year terms. Newly elected Board members include:

Julie Colton
Julie, of Pittsburgh is a family law attorney, collaborator and mediator with Voelker & Colton Attorneys at Law. Before joining Voelker & Colton, she clerked in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Family Division for the Honorable Judge Eaton, and worked at various family and civil law firms. In 2004, she interned at Break the Cycle in Washington and served on the national task force in drafting the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. Julie served on the Allegheny County Giving Circle Advisory Council.

Gary Gregory
Gary, of Sherborn, Mass., is the President & Founder of Every Great Reason Foundation. He has 30 years of experience as an executive officer and board member in healthcare, start-up companies and nonprofit sectors. The Every Great Reason Foundation focuses on domestic violence and has directly impacted the lives of more than 5,000 individuals. His sister was a victim of domestic violence and was murdered by her abuser on the day she had planned on leaving him.

Terri L. Hamrick, BA, MNM 
Terri Hamrick joined Survivors, Inc. in October 2006 as the President and CEO, and has worked in the nonprofit realm in different capacities for over 20 years, but all have had interpersonal violence as a primary challenge of those she served. Terri was an active member of the board of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape as the Chair of Standards Committee, is a co-chair of the Healthy Adams County Domestic Violence Task Force and STOP Grant Committee, and is a member of the Adams County Human Trafficking Response Team as well as a member of the larger Statewide Team. Terri is the Vice Chair of the Board of Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, and is the Chair of Philanthropy for the Rotary Club of Gettysburg as well as is a member of the Executive Committee of Children of Hoarders, Inc. In addition to working with those impacted by sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence, dating violence and human trafficking, Terri has worked with adjudicated/delinquent children and worked with those impacted by HIV disease. Terri was first trained the Sexual Assault field in 1989, and began working in Domestic Violence in 1990.

Tom Hollerbach
Tom, of York, is an accomplished communications executive with an excellent track record in customer service, generating relevant and effective creative design, providing strategic direction for organizations, improving the bottom line and creating an environment where people want to come to work.

Staci Scott
Staci, of Philadelphia, has more than 20 years of experience in program administration, operations, workforce/career development, education and training. She is the Executive Director of the Health Partners Foundation and the Manager of Community Education for Health Partners Plans. Staci has significant experience in philanthropic outreach and marketing and has strong diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationship and building consensus among diverse individuals. Domestic violence is one of three priorities for Health Partners Plans.

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.”

PCAR Chief Executive Officer Delilah Rumburg added: “Representatives from PCAR, PCADV and domestic violence and rape crisis centers throughout the Commonwealth represent the thousands of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence who receive help each year,” Rumburg said. “This is a critical time in our efforts to end sexual assault and domestic violence. We must work hand-in-hand with our neighbors, schools, businesses, law enforcement and lawmakers to systematically shine a light on all the areas where sexual violence and domestic abuse thrive.”

Advocacy Day 2017: “Ending Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence: Common Sense for the Commonwealth”

2017 advocacy day homepage 250 Advocacy Day 2017: “Ending Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence: Common Sense for the Commonwealth”

Who: Delilah Rumburg, Chief Executive Officer, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
State Representative Rosemary Brown (R-119)
Chief Peter Anders, Millersville University Police Department
State Senator Tom Killion (R-9)
Ellen Kramer, Deputy Director, Program Services, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

What: Presented jointly by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), Advocacy Day 2017 will feature themes “Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence: Common Sense for the Commonwealth” and “No More.” Advocates will gather at the State Capitol building in Harrisburg to promote key sexual assault and domestic violence-related legislation, build awareness of the serious and widespread societal issues caused by sexual assault and domestic violence, speak with legislators, and provide information to the public and media.

Where: Main Rotunda
PA State Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA

When: Monday, April 24
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Press conference starts at 11 a.m.

Lawmakers introduce measure to strengthen PFAs, enhance victim & community safety

MAP_Facebook_sml Lawmakers introduce measure to strengthen PFAs enhance victim & 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.

“Over the past ten years, more than 1,600 people have died at the hands of domestic violence abusers in our state,” PCADV Deputy Director Ellen Kramer said. “Firearms were involved in more than half of these senseless killings. It needs to stop. Senate Bill 501 addresses one of the most dangerous time for a victim: when seeking help from the courts.”

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.

Report: 102 people killed in domestic violence incidents statewide in 2016

2016 Fatality Report photo_250.jpeg Report: 102 people killed in domestic violence incidents statewide in 2016

One-hundred and two people were killed last year in domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania, and 56 percent of the victims were shot, according to the 2106 Fatality Report released today by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

To read the full report, click go to PCADV.org and select "PCADV Publications" under the "Learn More" tab.

For the sixth straight year, firearms accounted for more than half of all fatalities. There were 56 female victims and 46 male victims, and 37 perpetrator deaths, according to the report. In addition, two police officers died responding to domestic violence incidents.

“This report once again shows that domestic violence knows no gender, no age, no race or socioeconomic status,” PCADV Deputy Director Ellen Kramer said. “It’s an epidemic that truly affects us all.”

Pennsylvania joins national program helping domestic violence survivors rebuild credit

shutterstock_553435063 Pennsylvania joins national program helping domestic violence survivors rebuild credit

Pennsylvania survivors of domestic violence can apply for zero-interest microloans to help rebuild their credit through a new program launched by the National Network To End Domestic Violence.

The program allows applicants to borrow up to $100 for the sole purpose of credit-building and repair. The loan will be repaid over 10 months and NNEDV is assuming the financial risk from any defaults.

“Financial abuse is experienced in 98% of abusive relationships,” PCADV Victim Services Manager Jenifer Thompson said. “This program will help many survivors on a path to financial independence.”

During the pilot phase of the program, some survivors experienced a 50-point increase in their credit scores. NNEDV expects to roll out the initiative to all 50 states.

PCADV staff wears orange to promote healthy relationships

Wear Orange Group Photo 02_14_2017 PCADV staff wears orange to promote healthy relationships

Staff at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) is departing from traditional Valentine’s Day colors to show support for healthy relationships during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

February 14 has been identified as Wear Orange Day to promote healthy dating relationships and take a stand against dating violence.

The issue of teen dating violence is far too common in America. According to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), one in three teens report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped or physically hurt by a partner.

“We know our teens and preteens are dating and, as adults, it is important we talk to our kids about healthy relationships so they can better identify when they might be in an unhealthy or harmful relationship,” PCADV Prevention Manager Kristen Herman said. “It’s also important to serve as positive role models. A national survey of youth found that more than half of dating violence victims and statutory rape/sexual misconduct victims had witnessed intimate partner violence.”

Pennsylvania’s new strangulation law already making impact

Police have made arrests in Montgomery, Blair, Centre, Lancaster, and Cumberland Counties

Since Pennsylvania’s new strangulation law took effect Dec. 26, felony charges have been filed against at least six individuals in five counties, including Montgomery, Blair, Centre, Lancaster, and Cumberland.

The law, which was sponsored by state Rep. Becky Corbin, R-Chester, made nonfatal strangulation – applying pressure to the throat or neck, or blocking the nose and mouth of a victim -- a standalone criminal offense. It is being charged as a felony if the victim is a family or household member, if the defendant is subject to a protection-from-abuse order, or if the defendant has a previous strangulation conviction – a measure PCADV believes will help curb one of the most common forms of domestic violence.

“Strangulation is the ultimate form of abuse, because the offender holds the victim’s life in their hands,” PCADV Deputy Director Ellen Kramer said. “Getting this law on the books was a high priority of the Coalition. Strangulation is an often deadly crime, and one that affects many victims of domestic violence across Pennsylvania.”

Death of state trooper highlights need for PFA changes to enhance victim, community, law enforcement safety

weaver250x Death of state trooper highlights need for PFA changes to enhance victim community law enforcement safety

Recent Joint State Government Commission report offered eight suggestions

HARRISBURG, Pa., (Jan. 5, 2017) --- Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Landon Weaver, 23, was shot and killed Dec. 30 while investigating a report of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) violation on Bakers Hollow Road in Juniata Township, Huntingdon County.

Reports indicate that it was not an active domestic violence incident and that the person who obtained the PFA wasn’t present at the residence, according to state police. However, the situation underscores the need to shore up gaps in current law as well as enhance practices and procedures related to PFAs.

“PFAs are a strong tool used to fight the scourge of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, but when perpetrators violate the orders, there can and have been fatal consequences,” Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence Deputy Director Ellen Kramer said.

Although investigations are still ongoing in the death of Trooper Weaver, Kramer pointed to recent recommendations issued by the Joint State Government Commission at the end of the 2015-16 legislative session under House Resolution 735, sponsored by state Rep. Mauree Gingrich, as a way to revise PFA procedures to enhance victim, community and law enforcement safety.

PCADV Deputy Director Ellen Kramer is available to reporters for interviews regarding the PFA recommendations and Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention legislation. To arrange an interview, call 717-545-6400, ext. 209 or email mkemeny@pcadv.org.

Governor Signs into Law Strangulation Bill (H.B. 1581)

New act enables prosecutors to effectively criminalize non-fatal strangulation used by abusers as a means to terrorize victims

As Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close, Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law legislation that will give prosecutors additional tools to protect victims of domestic violence by criminalizing cases of non-fatal strangulation.

Non-fatal strangulation is a tactic that abusers use to terrorize their victims, often as a control method in an abusive relationship. Strangulation also dramatically increases the likelihood of lethality in domestic violence situations. Yet, until now, prosecutors lacked the ability to effectively criminalize the act against abusers and provided added protection to victims.

“Strangulation is an important form of physical violence against women who are in abusive relationships, and the act by an intimate partner is a risk factor for major assault or even homicide,” said Peg J. Dierkers, executive director of PCADV, which marks its 40th anniversary in November.

Gloria Steinem, internationally renowned activist and organizer, to Keynote PCADV’s Bi-annual Conference Nov. 2-4 in Lancaster

Gloria Steinem Gloria Steinem internationally renowned activist and organizer to Keynote PCADV’s Bi-annual Conference Nov. 2-4 in Lancaster

Gloria Steinem, an internationally renowned activist and feminist organizer, will help the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s celebrate its 40th anniversary by serving as keynote speaker of the organization’s bi-annual conference being held Nov. 2-4 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.

Since 1976, PCADV has been a community lifeline for Pennsylvania’s domestic violence victims and their families, providing shelter, legal assistance, counseling and children’s services to more than 2.8 million people. PCADV’s 60 local domestic violence centers serving all 67 counties assist 90,000 victims per year, helping them find safety, obtain justice and build new lives free of abuse.

“We’re honored to welcome Gloria Steinem to Pennsylvania. I can’t think of a better speaker to help us celebrate the dedicated work and tireless commitment of domestic violence advocates across the state,” PCADV Executive Director Peg J. Dierkers said.

Garcia Honored for Excellence in Male Leadership - Eastern Pa.

Garciaheadshotfull250_img_06072016 Garcia Honored for Excellence in Male Leadership - Eastern Pa.

Temple University police Captain Joe Garcia will be honored with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s first-ever Excellence in Male Leadership Award for eastern Pennsylvania. The announcement was made in partnership with the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, with the award being issued to Garcia for being the exemplar of PCADV’s #FathersDayPledgePA campaign to end gender violence.

After witnessing his mother suffer from domestic abuse, Garcia made a lifelong commitment to ending gender violence in Philadelphia neighborhoods. His heroic actions to assist victims and his personal pledge to stop gender violence has had an impact on countless others.

As part of his recognition, Garcia will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a #FathersDayPledgePA on-field ceremony before the 7:05 p.m. Phillies game on Thursday, June 16, against the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from game tickets sold through this event using this special link on phillies.com will benefit the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Nicolella Selected for Excellence in Male Leadership Award - Western Pa.

NicolellaHeadShot_img_05172016 Nicolella Selected for Excellence in Male Leadership Award - Western Pa.

Congratulations to Washington School District Athletic Director Joseph Nicolella, winner of PCADV’s first Excellence in Male Leadership award. Joe was selected by an independent panel of judges for his exemplary leadership in educating student-athletes about healthy relationships and respecting women. He will be given his award at noon Tuesday, May 17 at a press conference in Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh. The public is invited to attend and to thank Joe for his outstanding leadership. We also encourage everyone to take the #FathersDayPledgePA. Please go to www.pasaysnomore.com and sign the pledge to help end gender violence in your community.

PA’s Budget Crisis Threatens Services for Victims of Rape and Domestic Violence

The leaders of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence today implored the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf to resolve their differences over the nearly $ 2 billion structural deficit in the state budget before the June 30 deadline without abandoning the citizens of the commonwealth who have been raped, beaten, stalked, manipulated and abused.

They warned that services to victims of rape and domestic violence and vulnerable people served by multitudes of human services agencies in communities across the Commonwealth face a very real risk of closure if the House, Senate and governor’s office cannot reach an agreement.

Domestic violence, rape crisis programs and the array of community human services in Pennsylvania that victims rely on to put their lives back together have not recovered from the six months they operated without state or federal funds during the negotiating deadlock over the fiscal 2015-2016 budget, they said.

State legislators to join PCADV in Capitol ceremony
to remember Pennsylvania’s domestic homicide victims

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, including the 60 member programs serving all 67 counties, are joining with members of the General Assembly and family survivors to honor the more than 100 Pennsylvanians who have died in domestic violence-related homicides during the past year.

Each victim’s name will be read aloud during a roll-call ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon, Oct. 13 in the Capitol Rotunda. The ceremony is to commemorate October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the commonwealth. Among the scheduled speakers for this year’s program is a relative of Barbara Schrum, who is among 10 people from York County who died in four murder-suicides this year.

During the first nine months of 2015, 42 Pennsylvanians have died in 20 domestic violence murder-suicides, according to statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Guns were used as the murder weapon in 19 of the 20 murder-suicides, said Dierkers, who renewed her call on the General Assembly to enact new legislation to restrict persons who are subject to Protection From Abuse orders from retaining or obtaining firearms.

Second Annual Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Fundraiser Supports DV Victims

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence said today that abc27 in Harrisburg and its popular anchor, Valerie Pritchett, will again be official media sponsors for the second annual Purple Purse Challenge.
“abc27 and Valerie are renowned in central Pennsylvania for their commitment to community service,’’ said PCADV Director Peg J. Dierkers. “We are proud to have them on board again to help us highlight and raise funds to benefit Pennsylvania victims of domestic violence.’’

The Purple Purse Challenge is a national month-long fundraising contest to help support victims of domestic violence, who lack the financial resources to leave their abusive partners. PCADV is among an estimated 200 nonprofits competing for $500,000 in total prize funding awarded by the Allstate Foundation. The purple purse is symbolic, because it’s the color of domestic violence awareness and the purse represents a woman's financial prowess.

The contest runs from Oct. 1 to Oct. 27, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For more information on how you can participate, please visit http://purplepurse.com and PCADV’s fundraising page at https://www.crowdrise.com/PennsylvaniaCoalitionAgainstDo

PCADV Praises Gov. Wolf for Proposing Additional $1.5 million for Domestic Violence Services

GovernorTomWolfe_padotgov150x PCADV Praises Gov. Wolf for Proposing Additional $1.5 million for Domestic Violence Services

The $1.5-million increase would be used to provide lifesaving services to victims of domestic violence through PCADV’s network of 60 community-based domestic violence centers that serve all 67 counties of Pennsylvania. The money will be used to stabilize critical services such as civil legal representation, medical advocacy and emergency shelter for victims and their children.

Noting that 141 Pennsylvanians died in domestic violence-related incidents in 2014, PCADV Executive Director Peg J. Dierkers said, “By his action today, Gov. Wolf has demonstrated his commitment to reducing violence in our communities and keeping families and children safer, a core function of government. We ask that members of the General Assembly join together, as they did last year, to approve Gov. Wolf’s funding request for domestic violence services.”

PCADV Offers Tips to Keep Families Safer From Domestic Violence During Holidays
#YuleBeSafer and #PeaceAtHome Campaigns

To help families remain safer during the holiday season, 60 community programs serving domestic violence victims in all 67 counties have teamed up with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence to compile a list of safety tips. We encourage the public and media to use social media to promote these tips as a way of helping to protect Pennsylvania families threatened by domestic violence.

PCADV to Use $70,000 Allstate Foundation Grant To Assist Domestic Violence Victims

posted on November 19, 2014

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence announces the continued partnership with Allstate Foundation to help domestic violence victims gain economic independence and safety. This new grant for $70,000 from Allstate Foundation will expand and enhance PCADV’s Investing in Survivors’ Financial Independence Initiative.

“PCADV and its statewide network of 60 community-based domestic violence programs know, from more than three decades of working with victims, that financial instability ranks as the No. 1 reason why they stay with or return to their abuser,” said Executive Director Peg J. Dierkers. “Many victims endanger themselves so their children can have a home. By preparing victims for the workplace and teaching them budgeting and financial planning skills, this initiative gives them the tools they need to obtain employment, save money and start new lives free from abuse.”

2015 PCADV Advocacy Day and Governor Tom Wolf's Message

posted on June 12, 2015

Gov. Wolf has joined PCADV and a bipartisan coalition of state legislators to say NO MORE to domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Click on the video to see comments from Gov. Wolf and elected leaders who said NO MORE to domestic violence at PCADV's annual Advocacy Day.

Executive Director Peg Dierkers Praises Legislators For Shielding Domestic Violence Victims from Eviction

posted on October 16, 2014
NoticeOfEviction150x Executive Director Peg Dierkers Praises Legislators For Shielding Domestic Violence Victims from Eviction

General Assembly approves bill negating “nuisance ordinance" provision
“We are grateful to the legislators and coalition partners, who stood up today to protect Pennsylvania families,’’ Dierkers said. “Passage of this important legislation was only possible because of the grassroots support. It is truly something to celebrate during Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

PCADV Raises $3,025 In Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge

“The funds raised through the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge helped raise public awareness across the nation and will help make sure survivors in our area get the financial education services they need to break free from domestic violence,” said PCADV Executive Director Peg J. Dierkers. “Thanks to the more than 69 donations received from the challenge, our organization can provide even more resources to families, keeping them safe from abuse.”
Dierkers thanked First Lady Susan Corbett for serving as honorary chairperson and anchor Valerie Pritchett of ABC27 in Harrisburg for serving as media sponsor.

BowlingBallEmptyShoes Domestic Violence Awareness Month Events Reflect the Variety and Vitality of Those We Lost
-Bowling Tournaments "Purple Out" Salon Day Yoga Classes Twitter Campaign Men's Rallies Canine Court Advocate Meet & Greet to Remember Homicide Victims

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Events Reflect the Variety and Vitality of Those We Lost
Bowling Tournaments, "Purple Out," Salon Day, Yoga Classes, Twitter Campaign, Men's Rallies, Canine Court Advocate Meet & Greet to Remember Homicide Victims

PCADV Develops Instructional Video to Assist
Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Court Protection

Screen Shot 2014 06 13 at 4.27.58 PM PCADV Develops Instructional Video to Assist
Domestic Violence Victims Seeking Court Protection

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Halvonik, Communications Director
717-545-6400, ext 120, 412-606-8219 (cell)

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 29, 2014 – The nation’s oldest statewide domestic violence coalition is trying something new with social media.

Rather than use YouTube for self-promotion, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is developing informational videos for its YouTube channel that will serve as a public resource for victims of domestic violence.

“With more people relying on their cell phones and wireless devices as their primary source for news and information, we think that videos will become an increasingly important way to communicate with Pennsylvanians seeking our services,’’ said PCADV Executive Director Peg Dierkers.

PCADV’s first instructional video, produced by 2SLICES Productions of Harrisburg, is a 2 1/2-minute primer on how domestic violence victims may obtain a protection-from-abuse court order against an abusive partner. It’s available to the public on YouTube and www.pcadv.org. PCADV anticipates adding more videos on additional topics in the coming months, Dierkers said.

Founded in 1976, PCADV is a national leader in helping victims of domestic violence. PCADV and its network of 60 programs serving all 67 Pennsylvania counties assist nearly 90,000 Pennsylvanians each year. Program services include legal assistance, emergency shelter, 24-hour hotlines and counseling.

PCADV already utilizes a variety of digital platforms to reach Pennsylvanians:

• Its Web site, www.pcadv.org, is the highest-ranked Web site in the commonwealth for information about domestic violence, according to Google analytics. In addition to victim resources, the Web site provides educational information, public policy initiatives and volunteer opportunities.
• PCADV also has partnered with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape to operate the www.pasaysnomore.com Web site, whose goal is to raise public awareness and reduce domestic violence and sexual assaults in Pennsylvania communities.
• PCADV is accessible via Twitter @PCADVorg; Facebook @ facebook.com/pages/Pennsylvania-Coalition-Against-Domestic-Violence/; and Pinterest @ pinterest.com/pcadvorg.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield donates $5,000 to the Western Pennsylvania Giving Circle

GivingCircleOnly150x_img_03252014 Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield donates $5000 to the Western Pennsylvania Giving Circle

Executive Director Peg Dierkers thanked Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for its generous support. The Giving Circle was developed by PCADV, its four Allegheny County domestic violence programs and the Pittsburgh Foundation. It will raise donations for new primary prevention programs in Allegheny County through the statewide NO MORE campaign that PCADV sponsors with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Primary prevention raises awareness about the causes and the ways to prevent domestic violence from happening in the first place.

Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service Providers

A new research report looked at a random day - Sept. 17, 2013 - and collected information from 1,649 domestic violence programs throughout the United States from midnight to midnight on that day. The National Network to End Domestic Violence released the report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” today.

In Pennsylvania, 2,424 victims received services in that 24-hour period, but 364 could not be helped because local programs in the commonwealth lacked sufficient resources.

Key findings in Pennsylvania during this 24-hour period were:

  • 2,424 domestic violence victims and their children received services in just one day.
  • 787 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered.
  • 1,224 individuals were trained to help domestic violence victims by local programs.
  • 364 requests for services from domestic violence victims were turned down because programs did not have the resources to provide them, including requests for emergency shelter, housing, transportation, child care and legal representation.
  • The majority of unmet requests were from victims who had chosen to flee their abusers, and were seeking safe emergency or transitional housing.


Read the full press release

PCADV and Allstate Foundation Expand Financial Independence Initiative for Domestic Violence Victims

This new grant from Allstate Foundation expands and enhances PCADV’s Investing in Survivors’ Financial Independence Initiative. The grant funds four pilot job readiness and training programs at Wise Options in Lycoming County, the Centre County Women’s Resource Center, AWARE in Mercer County and the Victims’ Intervention Program in Wayne County. "Financial instability ranks as the No. 1 reason why they stay with or return to their abuser,” said PCADV Executive Director Peg Dierkers. “Many victims endanger themselves so their children can have a home. By preparing victims for the workplace and teaching them budgeting and financial planning skills, this initiative gives them the tools they need to start new lives free from abuse.”

PCADV, PCAR set Nov. 24 as #pasaysnomore Day
To Speak Against Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault

HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 14, 2013 – The state’s leading organizations providing assistance to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault today ask all Pennsylvanians to participate in a social media event to raise awareness and reduce domestic and sexual assaults in the commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape urge Pennsylvanians to post the message “NO MORE,’’ accompanied with the hashtag #pasaysnomore, to their Twitter accounts Nov. 24.

PCADV Urges Philly-area Males to ManUp Against Domestic Violence at Oct. 19 Love Park Program

(Oct. 11, 2013) The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the nation’s oldest statewide domestic violence coalition, is urging southeastern Pennsylvania men to show their support for reducing domestic violence by attending the Love Yourself Campaign’s ManUp program, from 3-6 pm Saturday, Oct. 19 at Love Park, at 16th Street and JFK Boulevard in Philadelphia.

Candlelight vigils, purple ribbon displays
To highlight domestic violence awareness month

(Oct. 1, 2013) October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an annual campaign that was begun in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to connect battered-women's advocates who were working to end violence against women and children.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and its 60 member organizations, serving domestic violence victims in all 67 counties, have scheduled a series of special events this month as part of the national Domestic Violence Awareness campaign.

Events that have been scheduled as of Oct. 1, 2013, are listed on the full press release. For updates and additional information, please visit our DVAM 2013 page.

2,300 Domestic Violence Victims Seek Help in PA in One Day

(March 25, 2013) HARRISBURG, PA – Pennsylvania’s 60 community-based domestic violence programs assisted 2,308 women, men and children during a 24-hour census of domestic violence services released today. Another 933 requests for services had to be denied because of insufficient resources.

The services provided included emergency shelter and transitional housing for 1,157 victims; counseling, legal advocacy and children’s services for 1,151 victims; and 915 hotline calls answered.
Ninety percent of the unmet requests for services were for emergency shelter and transitional housing. The biggest reason cited for unmet service requests was not enough staff (37%), followed by not enough beds or funding for motels (32%); not enough funding for needed programs and services (25%); lack of specialized services (13%) and inadequate funding for translators, bilingual staff or accessible equipment (10%).

“The numbers for this one day alone show just how hard our programs work with limited resources and how great the demand is for these lifesaving services,” said Peg Dierkers, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

This seventh annual census, conducted in all 50 states by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), occurred on Sept. 12, 2012. Nationally, on that day, 64,324 adults and children received domestic violence services, and 10,471 requests for services went unmet because of lack of resources. Pennsylvania ranked 7th highest among the states in total number of people served.

The full census report is available on the NNEDV website.

Congress Approves Violence Against Women Act

(February 28, 2013) The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence commends the U.S. House of Representatives for voting today, 286-138, to reauthorize the more inclusive and stronger Violence Against Women Act version already approved by the U.S. Senate.

For nearly 20 years this bipartisan legislation has been the cornerstone of a comprehensive response to violence against women, bringing sweeping legal reforms and critically needed funding for services for victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking here in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

“This proves the power of grassroots advocacy and bipartisan support. VAWA enables a strong, coordinated community response among law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts and advocates for domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Reauthorization ensures justice for victims and accountability for offenders,” Peg Dierkers, executive director of PCADV, said Thursday. This latest reauthorization through 2018 will extend vital protections to women on Tribal lands, immigrant women and LGBT survivors.

PCADV especially thanks the members of the Pennsylvania delegation who voted to reauthorize VAWA. In the House, they are: Reps. Robert Brady, Chaka Fatah, Glenn W. Thompson, Jim Gerlach, Pat Meehan, Michael G. Fitzpatrick, Bill Shuster, Lou Barletta, Allyson Y. Schwartz, Mike Doyle, Charles W. Dent and Matthew Cartwright. And in the Senate they are: Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey.

PCADV and Allstate Foundation Launch Financial Independence Initiative For Domestic Violence Victims

(December 5, 2012) The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) is pleased to announce a new partnership with The Allstate Foundation on an initiative that will enable domestic violence victims to attain safety and build secure and stable financial futures on their own.

The Allstate Foundation’s grant to PCADV will fund the job readiness and job training component of the Investing in Survivors’ Financial Independence Initiative. This innovative and timely PCADV initiative, also supported by a private family trust donation, will empower domestic violence victims to surmount the many economic barriers they face.

PCADV and its statewide network of 60 community-based domestic violence programs know from more than three decades of working with victims, that financial instability ranks as the No. 1 reason why they stay with or return to their abuser. Many victims endanger themselves so their children can have a home. By preparing victims for the workplace and teaching them budgeting and financial planning skills, this initiative will give them the tools to obtain employment, save money and start new lives free from abuse.

The Allstate Foundation’s grant will be used to strengthen and expand financial education services for victims at all of PCADV’s local domestic violence programs. The grant also will establish a pilot site at Wise Options, the domestic violence program in Lycoming County, where victims will learn job readiness skills such as interview techniques and resume building and will receive job training. In addition, victim advocates from across Pennsylvania will learn to use The Allstate Foundation’s “Moving Ahead Through Financial Management” curriculum with their clients. This pilot site will set a standard for comprehensive, user-friendly and relevant financial education that effectively impacts victims’ decision-making.

PCADV, the nation’s oldest statewide coalition against domestic violence, is a private nonprofit organization working at state and national levels to eliminate domestic violence, secure justice for victims, enhance safety for families and communities, and create lasting social change. Its statewide network of 60 community-based programs provides direct services to domestic violence victims, including 24-hour emergency hotlines, shelter, counseling, legal and medical advocacy, children’s programs, transitional housing and many other free and confidential services.

Since 1952, The Allstate Foundation has created practical, proven programs to help thousands of individuals and families overcome personal challenges and uncertainties so they can lead better and safer lives. PCADV thanks The Allstate Foundation for its commitment to helping domestic violence victims find safety and build new lives. For more information, please contact Arlene Marshall-Hockensmith, Esq., project manager at PCADV, at 1-800-932-4632.

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