- Julie Bancroft, firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-545-6400, ext. 120
Coalitions urge officials to reject acts of domestic violence & sexual assault
HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) urge all Pennsylvanians to demand that their elected officials uphold the laws that govern the Commonwealth. Victims of harassment, stalking and physical and sexual violence, and all people in the Commonwealth, must trust our leaders not only to promote public policies that protect victims, hold offenders accountable and enhance community safety, but also to conduct themselves in ways that demonstrate those values and commitments.
We’ve seen over and over again the devastating effects of domestic violence and sexual assault. The #MeToo movement has exposed the serious and widespread problem of sexual harassment and abuse in our communities and demonstrated that perpetration and victimization are common across all social divisions. PCADV serves nearly 90 thousand domestic violence victims in the Commonwealth each year. The costs of domestic violence and sexual assault are significant –victims often lose educational and employment opportunities as well as income; they suffer from emotional and physical ailments including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse disorders and struggle with suicidal thoughts; and experience strained relationships with friends, family and children.
It’s time that we start believing individual victims when they come forward. The #MeToo movement has demonstrated that to do anything less only gives perpetrators the permission to continue to harm others.
Most victims of sexual and domestic violence do not disclose or report their experiences right away – not to friends and family, nor to authorities. Delayed reports are normal and should be expected. Many victims eventually decide to tell what was done to them in an effort to protect others from enduring similar abuses.
We must no longer require multiple victims of a single perpetrator to come forward before we are willing to believe the allegations might be true. One person’s experience should be enough to warrant our attention. The well-documented pervasiveness of sexual misconduct and assault, and domestic violence, in all of our cultural institutions is enough to lend
credibility to individual complaints.
As long as domestic violence and sexual assault are allowed to continue, and those who have perpetrated those acts are allowed to serve, we send a clear message to victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse, and exploitation that they will not be taken seriously.
That’s a truth we should not continue to accept. We all have a role to play in making our communities safer and more supportive of survivors—including our elected officials. Onlythen will survivors find real justice.
After four years of advocacy, domestic violence homicide prevention bill unanimously passes State Senate
HARRISBURG, Pa., (March 22, 2018) --- Yesterday, the State Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan legislative package to provide additional protections for victims of domestic violence and other crimes.
The Coalition has been working on domestic violence homicide prevention legislation for four years; two consecutive legislative sessions. It celebrated a victory for victims of domestic abuse when Senate Bill 501, sponsored by Sen. Tom Killion (R-9), was unanimously passed as part of the seven-bill package.
In 2017, 117 people lost their lives to domestic violence in Pennsylvania-66percent of which were killed by a firearm. Last year marked the highest number of firearms deaths in domestic violence homicides in a decade. There was a 37 percent increase in firearms deaths (domestic violence homicides) over 2016.
"Now is the time for change. If signed into law, this legislation will undoubtedly save lives," said Julie Bancroft, Director of Public Affairs. "We applaud the Senate for their unanimous support of SB 501 and the other bills in this package. We now call on the House to move this legislative package with the same sense of urgency. Governor Wolf has been unwavering in his support of this life-saving, common sense legislation."
Senate Bill 501 strives to improve the safety of victims of domestic violence, law enforcement, and the community by keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers who have demonstrated a propensity for violence. The bill makes it mandatory for abusers to relinquish all firearms, weapons and ammunition upon entry of a final Protection from Abuse (PFA) order; narrows the window of time an abuser has to relinquish their guns for a misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence to 48 hours (current law allows for 60 days); and eliminates the ability for abusers to turn guns over to friends or family members for safekeeping, instead weapons must be transferred to law enforcement, a licensed firearms dealer, or an attorney.
PCADV announces call for nominations for Male Leadership Awards during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. In recognition of this, and to emphasize the importance of healthy relationships, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is looking for a few good men for its 2018 Excellence in Male Leadership awards. These awards are given annually to men who are positive role models in their communities.
A committee will select winners from our Eastern, Western, and Central regions and winners will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, or Harrisburg Senators game.
The Excellence in Male Leadership award honors community leaders who demonstrate healthy masculinity, promote healthy relationships, serve as a positive mentor to boys and young men, and who are allies to those working as advocates against domestic violence or sexual assault.
The deadline for nominations is May 31. The effort is part of PCADV’s annual Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence, which 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.
In addition to throwing out the first pitch, winners will receive a plaque and jersey from one of our partnering teams.
Pennsylvanians can nominate deserving men in their communities by going to www.pasaysnomore.org and filling out the nomination form. PCADV encourages men to visit the PA Says No More site to sign the Father’s Day Pledge, and to follow the campaign on Facebook at facebook.com/pcadvorg and Twitter at @PCADVorg.
To learn more about Teen Dating Violence Awareness month, visit: teendvmonth.org
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
- Read the Full Press Release288 K | 9/24/2015
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.”
- Read the Full Press Release104.64 K | 3/5/2015
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.
- Read the Full Press Release158.59 K | 12/3/2014
PCADV to Use $70,000 Allstate Foundation Grant To Assist Domestic Violence Victims
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.”
- Read the Full Press Release162.71 K | 11/19/2014
2015 PCADV Advocacy Day and Governor Tom Wolf's Message
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
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."
- Read the full press release129.03 K | 10/16/2014
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.
- Read the Full Press Release138.77 K | 10/6/2014
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
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.
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.
- Read the Full Press Release123.51 K | 3/25/2014
Urgent Need for Increased Funding for Domestic Violence Service ProvidersA 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.
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.”
- Read the Full Press Release49.41 K | 12/30/2013
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.
- Read the Full Press Release1.24 Meg | 11/15/2013
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.
- Read the Full Press Release85.37 K | 10/15/2013
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.
- Read the Full Press Release218.94 K | 10/3/2013
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.
- 2,300 Domestic Violence Victims Seek Help in PA in One Day185.83 K | 4/1/2013
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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Julie Bancroft, email@example.com, 717-545-6400, ext. 120
PCADV In The News
Anti-violence advocate dies at 72, legacy fund launched to help continue supporting her life's work Pennlive/The Patriot-News
Domestic violence homicides highlight holes in legal system Centre Daily Times
Bill an opportunity to reduce domestic violence Centre Daily Times
Guest Column: How we can change the dynamic on some mass shootings Delaware County Times
Gov. Tom Wolf promotes bill to restrict domestic abusers' access to guns Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Take guns out of the hands of domestic abusers Washington County Observer Reporter
Victims of domestic violence honored in ceremony at Capitol Pennlive/The Patriot-News
Area domestic violence advocates to attend service at state capitol today Hazleton Standard-Speaker
State Capitol to host remembrance ceremony Shippensburg News-Chronicle
Proposed bill would relocate domestic and sexual violence victims in public housing Uniontown Herald-Standard
Why would someone served with a PFA need 24 hours to surrender weapons? Lancaster Online/LNP
Today's Editorial: Act now on Senate Bill 501 The Daily-Item
Poll shows overwhelming support for stricter gun laws for domestic abusers Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
New mobile app educates parents on teen dating issues Central Penn Parent
Parents get help with teen dating issues with coalition's new app Pennlive/The Patriot-News
Williamsport Police Officer Jason Bolt honored NorthCentralPa.com
Anti-violence advocate Carole Alexy honored at Women of Courage awards Central Penn Business Journal
More than 100 charged under new Pennsylvania strangulation law PIttsburgh Post-Gazette
13 area people killed as a result of domestic violence in 2016 (Uniontown) Herald Standard
Republican state senators offer bills to protect abuse victims Beaver County Times
Four ideas to keep domestic violence victims safe York Daily Record
Fighting domestic violence v. gun owners' rights: What's a politician to do? Pennlive/The Patriot-News
Bills aim to shield victims of domestic abuse New Castle News
Tierne’s Law among four Senate bills on domestic abuse (Washington County) Observer-Reporter
Lawmakers unveil four bills to strengthen Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse laws Fox 43 News (with video)
Pa. senators unveil bills to reform protection from abuse laws ABC-27 News (with video)
Pennsylvania lawmakers seek to strengthen PFA orders in domestic violence cases (Allentown) Morning Call
More than 100 Pennsylvanians killed in domestic violence incidents last year Pennlive/The Patriot-News
Report: 102 people killed in PA in domestic violence related incidents ABC-27 News (with video)
Law aims to address strangulation U.S. News & World Report
Special report: Domestic violence in Mercer County Sharon Herald