Contact: Kurt Knaus, Kurt@ceislermedia.com or 717-724-2866
PCADV Executive Director, Peg Dierkers to retire
Peg Dierkers, who joined the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) as its Executive Director in October 2008, announced this week that she is retiring and relocating to Cincinnati, where her family lives. Her retirement takes effect Jan. 2.
Dierkers’ retirement comes on the heels of PCADV and the state Department of Human Services finalizing a two-and-a-half-year agreement, with two one-year options, that will ensure continued funding and provide the security and stability the coalition’s network of 60 local domestic violence centers need to continue their mission of service to all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
It also finishes one of the coalition’s busiest stretches.
PCADV convened a victim commemoration inside the Capitol’s Main Rotunda in October to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month and honor the 92 victims who have been killed in domestic violence-related homicides over the last year in the commonwealth. It was the third annual state commemoration, which Dierkers spearheaded and first launched in 2014.
In November, PCADV marked its 40th anniversary with one of its largest bi-annual conferences. Over two and a half days, the conference brought together approximately 300 advocates and community stakeholders for training, networking sessions and featured guest speakers, including internationally renowned activist Gloria Steinem.
Dierkers postponed her retirement until a long-term agreement was in place, and until these hallmark events concluded. Her decision to step down also culminates with the end of the state’s two-year legislative session, which concluded in Nov. 30.
Over the last eight years, through collaboration with PCADV members and supporters, Dierkers spearheaded the coalition through a significant transition, even growing the organization during the economic downturn, and now has PCADV heading in a new direction to ensure its local centers remain a community lifeline for Pennsylvania’s domestic violence victims and their families. With a new strategic plan in place, along with organizational changes, PCADV will remain the major force of social change in ending domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
During Dierkers’ tenure, PCADV achieved regional, statewide and national recognition for implementations of lethality assessment, economic justice and primary prevention, including its annual our Father’s Day celebration, which has raised awareness among men and brought in many new supporters and partners.
PCADV also achieved passage of several major policy reforms in child custody, housing, protection orders, strangulation and soon, homicide prevention. In the final days of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this past October, and just before the end of the two-year legislative session, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law legislation that will give prosecutors additional tools to protect victims of domestic violence by criminalizing cases of non-fatal strangulation.
PCADV’s local domestic violence centers provide shelter, legal assistance, counseling and children’s services to more than 90,000 victims per year, helping them find safety, obtain justice and build new lives free of abuse --- and it has for 40 years. Even today, PCADV remains empowered and strong.
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.
- Read the Full Press Release146.28 K | 10/26/2016
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.
- Read the Full Press Release145.81 K | 9/22/2016
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.
- Read the Full Press Release497.07 K | 6/6/2016
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.
- Read the Full Press Release475.05 K | 5/16/2016
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.
- Read the Full Press Release173.21 K | 2/10/2016
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.
- Read the Full Press Release179.46 K | 9/29/2015
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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