Domestic violence can affect anyone, including people in later life, people with disabilities, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
We often refer to victims as women to reflect national studies and PCADV service statistics that show the greatest number of victims are females, abused by men.
In no way is our language meant to ignore or minimize the fact that men also experience domestic violence at the hands of their female or same-sex partners. PCADV and our domestic violence programs offer services to male and female victims of domestic violence.
We often refer to domestic violence program advocates as women, again to reflect the majority of staff and volunteers at PCADV programs. It does not negate or dismiss the dedicated men who work at or volunteer with these programs.
PA Child Welfare Online Portal
-Mandated reporters can apply for clearances and accounts to submit online reports of child abuse
-Programs can issue payment codes and manage individual employee/volunteer clearances
-Definitions/FAQs - what is a Permissive Reporter; Volunteer; Mandated Reporter; Employees Having Contact with Children
-Disclosure Statements Applications for volunteers and employees
Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance History Certification Form (CY113) (link to Spanish form is broken) Application form and instructions for individuals to apply for PA background checks
Report of Suspected Child Abuse - CY47 Form
Fill out onscreen and print/fax.
Tutorial for CY 47
Step-by-Step CY 47 Form Site walks you through the CY47 form for print/faxing.
ONLINE PA Child Welfare Portal (requires account)
NOTE: The mandatory three-hour Child Welfare Information System (CWIS) training on mandated reporting does not count toward the PCADV 40-hour training total for domestic violence advocates or volunteers.
is a division of the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services responsible for accepting reports of suspected child abuse 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. ChildLine can receive reports from mandated reporters by phone at 1-800-932-0313 or online at www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis.
PCADV Online Learning Module: Mandated Child Abuse Reporting
If, as part of your role within a PCADV domestic violence organization, you are required to report suspected child abuse, this module will assist you. You will understand what is considered child abuse and how and when to make a report. You'll also learn best practices for working with victims and considering victim safety after a report is made.
To complete this module and access more technical assistance information for domestic violence programs and advocates, please log in to the PCADV Training Institute. The Training Institute is available only to advocates working with PCADV domestic violence programs. Domestic violence advocates must take both this module and the DHS-approved mandatory reporter training.
In order to play, some of these webinars require your computer to have a Quicktime plugin. Quicktime is a free download from Apple
PCADV is pleased to offer a webinar series about Pennsylvania's new Child Protective Services Law that took effect December 31, 2014. Webinar recordings last approximately 1 hour.
Understanding New Background Check Requirements html / 4 KB / 2015
The Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) requires all paid employees who are responsible for the welfare of a child or who have direct contact with children to obtain the Pa. Child Abuse History Clearance, Pa. State Police Criminal Background Check, and a fingerprint-based federal background check. NOTE: per a July 2015 change to the law, volunteer fees are now waived and employee fees are now $8.
Advancing Your Mandatory Reporting Skills html / 4 KB / 2015
This webinar discusses ways that staff at domestic violence programs can work with clients to protect survivors' confidentiality while meeting the CPS law's reporting requirements.
Child Welfare Investigative Process & Safety Planning html / 4 KB / 2015
This webinar explain the child welfare investigative process following a report of child abuse. After watching, advocates can help provide safety planning to survivors affected by child welfare investigations.
The percentage of Pennsylvanians older than 60 is projected to grow to 28 percent by 2030. Pennsylvania courts will see more and more cases of elder abuse and domestic violence in later life, which includes physical and emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment. Ninety percent of elder abuse is perpetrated by a family member, usually a spouse or an adult child, which makes PFA and civil courts the arena for elder abuse cases.
WATCH AND LISTEN NOW
This webinar can prepare court personnel to:
.mov file - 217 MB - Get QuickTime plugin
Join two experienced prosecutors to learn how state and federal firearms laws affect domestic violence offenders in criminal and civil cases.
Michael Sullivan, Assistant District Attorney, Allegheny County
Steve Kaufman, Criminal Chief, US Attorney’s Office, PA Western District
This webinar explores the fundamental shift in the way the justice system and victim service providers view the commercial sex industry. From “what used to be standard prostitution cases, now there's a keen eye out there for warning signs of human trafficking," says one investigator.
Join Shea M. Rhodes, Esq., the statewide legal expert on Pennsylvania laws related to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and co-founder and director of the Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute) at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.
Leslye Orloff, Adjunct Professor and Director, National Immigration Women’s Advocacy Project, American University, Washington College of Law, explores immigration policies and the courts in this November 2014 webinar.
.mov file - 3.5 GB (may take some time to download) - Get QuickTime plugin
.mov file - 43 MB - Get QuickTime plugin
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides for the temporary suspension of civil legal proceedings that may adversely affect the rights of active duty military service members. Christine Zellar Church, Associate Dean, Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School, explores the SCRA and its impact on PFA proceedings.
The Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act, which takes effect on July 1, 2015, provides civil protections for victims of sexual violence or intimidation who do not have a family or household relationship with the defendant. Read more about Protection From Sexual Violence.
This webinar will provide an overview of the Act and how it differs from the Protection from Abuse Act. Also explored during the webinar will be the upgrades to the Protection From Abuse Database that also take effect on July 1 and what the new orders under the PSVI Act will look like in PFAD. PLAY WEBINAR
Click here to download the webinar to your computer. It will appear as a .zip file to your Downloads folder. To start the movie file, in your computer's Downloads folder, click the name, Batterer and Life-Generated Risks, Safety Planning and Confidentiality 8-21-13.mov
Click here to download the webinar to your computer. It is a large file, so it may take a while to download. It will appear as a .zip file to your Downloads folder. To start the movie file, in your computer's Downloads folder, click the name:
The Impact of Trauma and Understanding the Stages of Change 7-23-13 9.32 AM.mov
Improving Safety for Domestic Violence Plaintiffs Improves Safety for All
Every day judges and courthouse employees face exposure to violence in the courthouse and other settings where litigants come to address legal concerns. Some courthouses screen visitors entering the courthouse or courtroom, but rarely are safety measures in place for hearings outside the courtroom setting.
-for domestic violence advocates and victims services providers
The webinar and materials provide information about public utility and public benefit programs so that advocates may assist domestic violence survivors and their families cope with the high cost of winter heating and other utility bills.
View the Guide, Public Utility Assistance and Benefit Programs Advocates, 12/2014
Stalking cases are heard every day in civil and criminal courtrooms across Pennsylvania. In one year, 6.6 million people are stalked in our country. The number of victims being stalked increased almost 50 percent (from 3.4 million) since 2006.
Stalking is a prevalent and insidious crime:
Strangulation of victims of domestic violence is a common tactic used by batterers. Pennsylvania’s new strangulation law recognizes this and now make it a felony to strangle an intimate partner or household member. This webinar will explain strangulation and discuss the new law.
The speaker is John F. Wilkinson, J.D., an Attorney Advisor with AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women. As an Attorney Advisor, he presents on trial strategy, legal analysis and policy, and ethical issues related to violence against women at the local, state, national and international level.
When Do Survivors Need to File? - Federal and State Tax Credits - Tax Rights Everyone Has - Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Can Help - Tax Assessments and Penalties
PCADV webinars for judges, court personnel, law enforcement and prosecutors are supported by grant funds awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the state administering office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. Funding is also awarded by PCCD, to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) and from the AOPC to PCADV by means of a passthrough agreement. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in these webinars are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of PCCD, AOPC or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Many professionals and businesses work with, employ, serve and help victims of domestic violence, whether they realize it or not.
PCADV is eager to work with you to address your training needs. Please complete the information below so our staff can contact you. Please note that PCADV does not provide training to individuals. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or want training, please contact the domestic violence program in your area.
Do not use this form to request help if you are a victim of domestic violence or to send to a friend who may be in an abusive relationship. Clicking send for the form above sends an immediate email back to the sender. The abuser could see the email, and it may not be safe to let the abuser know that you or your friend is looking for help.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need immediate assistance, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) to be directly connected with a domestic violence program in your area.
Please contact us to discuss your needs and ways we can work with you.
You can search the PCADV calendar by date, training type, or audience. Click on the name of the training to view details for that event. Registration information is located on the training information page.
Who should attend:
judges, court personnel, law enforcement, prosecutors, juvenile and adult probation officers, batterer intervention program staff
This webinar will assist the courts in finding ways to hold domestic violence offenders accountable by using Batterer Intervention Services programs. Courts will learn how two Pennsylvania counties established and use batterers intervention programs to hold offenders accountable and keep victims of domestic violence safe.
Join Judge David Spurgeon of Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and Jay Deppeler, President/CEO of Edison Court, Inc. Judge Spurgeon has many years of experience as a prosecutor and has facilitated the county's STOP grant, domestic violence task force, and Intimate Partner Violence Homicide Review Team. Jay Deppeler has 15 years experience treating adult and juvenile sex offenders in the Bucks County area. He conducts screenings of adolescents in the juvenile justice system.
After attending the webinar, participants will be able to:
Located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Easy access to major highways
- new state-of-the-art training room with computer-controlled projection, audio and lighting
- training room accommodates up to 45 participants at tables
- ADA compliant
- separate catering area
- free onsite parking
Training at your office or at a site near you can be arranged. Please contact us about options.
We can customize our standard training packages or create a specialized training package for your needs.
We work to stop personal violence and change society to prevent violence against women.
Every day, coalition staff provides training and technical assistance on topics related to domestic violence. We tailor topics to the needs of the audiences - professional associations, Bar associations, STOP teams, law enforcement groups, judicial and medical conferences, private workplaces.
PCADV also works with our Coalition members - 60 local community-based programs - to maintain a trained and skilled network of domestic violence advocates and attorneys across Pennsylvania.
PCADV, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Pennsylvania corporation, is supported by a number of federal, state and private funding sources. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed on this Website and in the publications and materials available on this Website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any of PCADV’s funders.
PCADV holds the copyrights to the publications, Web pages, and other content on this site, but encourages limited duplication of these materials for noncommercial purposes, provided that any copies retain the original copyright notices. Proper citation to PCADV as the source of the information is required, as appropriate. Modification of the content is prohibited, however, and you may not republish PCADV's publications or Web pages, post them on servers, or redistribute them to lists, without the prior permission of PCADV.
To request permission to publish, please contact the webmaster.
Copyright for materials not owned by PCADV must be honored and permission be obtained from the owner of such materials.
While PCADV strives to make the information on this Website as timely and accurate as possible, PCADV makes no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or adequacy of the contents of this site, and expressly disclaims liability for errors and omissions in the contents of this site or any loss or damages resulting from the use of, or inability to use, this Website, regardless of the basis upon which liability has been claimed, even if PCADV has been advised of the possibility of such loss or damages. NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, IMPLIED, EXPRESSED, OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS, TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR FREEDOM FROM COMPUTER VIRUS, IS GIVEN WITH RESPECT TO THE CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE OR ITS LINKS TO OTHER INTERNET RESOURCES.
The information appearing on this Website is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. We urge you to consult with your own legal advisor before taking any action based on information appearing on this site or any site to which it may be linked.
Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by PCADV.
If you find a link that does not work please e-mail the PCADV Webmaster at email@example.com.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence
3605 Vartan Way, Suite 101
Harrisburg, PA 17110
The issue of public utilities is a both an economic justice issue (in that utilities are a significant expense victims face in enduring and escaping abuse) and a privacy and hence safety concern (in that utility companies disclose home addresses, which may reveal a victim’s location and allow her abuser to track her down).
In the last days of the legislative session ending 2004, a harmful bill called the Responsible Utility Consumer Protection Act passed the legislature and became Act 201 of 2004. Instead of providing consumers with protections as the title claims, the Act eliminated winter termination protections, denied consumers access to utility services, eliminated 48-hour termination of service notices, and restricted the flexibility of payment agreements. PCADV participated with a coalition of dozens of groups that opposed the bill. At the end of the session, compromise legislation was amended into the bill, which exempts
domestic violence victims with a valid protection order from all of the provisions of the bill.
On the privacy front, utility deregulation has led to widespread marketing changes among the electricity generation and distribution industries, which results in widespread dissemination of customer addresses and other personal information, putting victims’ safety in jeopardy by allowing abusers to easily track them down.
2012 ACTION STEPS ON PUBLIC UTILITIES
The “Marriage Protection Amendment” would amend the PA Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions, and other legal recognition or benefits to same-sex partners. A similar provision enacted in Ohio resulted in the denial of domestic violence protections for unmarried couples. In 2006, the PCADV Board voted both to oppose the “Marriage Protection Amendment” and any other legislation that would support only one man and one woman as a recognizable marriage in PA. PCADV joined the Value All Families Coalition to coordinate our opposition efforts with allied groups.
In February 2008, the Marriage Protection Act was again introduced, again bringing with it the unintended consequence of jeopardizing the safety of unmarried PFA plaintiffs, as well as its intended consequence of discriminating against LGBT persons.
PCADV lobbied aggressively each time the same-sex marriage ban bill advanced, alerting legislators to the dangers the bill posed to the PFA Act’s protections for unmarried victims, as well as our opposition to continued discrimination against LGBT persons. Our lobbying, in conjunction with that of other groups, helped turn the tide in the momentum of the bill and the bill has not passed, nor is there much will among legislators to renew the issue again.
2012 ACTION STEPS ON THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN
Immigration is a hotly contested political issue, and there is great momentum to enact laws that restrict, punish, and marginalize immigrants, including battered immigrant women and their children. Specifically here in Pennsylvania, there is a swelling movement within the state legislature to penalize immigrants by restricting access to public benefits, mandating reporting of immigration status by local law enforcement and other agencies, requiring proof of immigration status as a condition of a host of privileges and assistance programs, and more. Commonly, the effect of these anti-immigrant efforts is to deter battered immigrant women from reaching out for help—from police, from domestic violence programs, from economic assistance, etc.—when they desperately need it.
The domestic violence movement has been a crucial advocate for reform in immigration law that protects battered immigrant women and their children. From the creation of the Battered Spouse Waiver, to the VAWA Self-Petition, to the T, U, and V visas, our movement has been at the forefront of immigration reform discussions to ensure such reforms include protections for battered immigrants. Now more than ever, the battered women’s movement in PA and nationally is called upon to act in defense of victimized immigrants whose safety and autonomy are jeopardized by punitive legislative proposals—and has in fact responded. In particular, PCADV has zealously opposed a long-standing measure to restrict access to public benefits by requiring government issued identification as a precondition of receipt (SB 9, the “Protection of Public Benefits Act”), and ultimately secured an amendment to the bill that provides an exception to the ID requirement for domestic violence victims.
2012 ACTION STEPS ON IMMIGRATION
The core belief of our advocacy is the entitlement of women to make choices about their own lives free from violence, abuse, and coercion. This core value extends not only to individual acts that infringe on women’s autonomy but also to institutional oppression that impedes women’s self-determination. Laws that aim to restrict access to women’s full range of health care options—reproductive health care including abortion, in particular—are antithetical to women’s autonomy, and as such PCADV opposes them.
Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. The 1989 Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act(upheld by the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey) was one of the first comprehensive sets of abortion restrictions in the country, and began a nearly twenty-year trend of slowly chipping away at a woman’s right to choose through what seem like small restrictions, but add up to a significant burden on women seeking abortion. Pennsylvania’s Abortion Control Act includes the following restrictions:
PCADV recognizes its role as one of the largest statewide advocacy networks on behalf of women’s livesand our history as an organization with a strong, unequivocal pro-choice position. This legislative session, PCADV began participating more vocally in the opposition to proposed legislation that would curb access
to reproductive choice. We submitted letters and conducted lobby visits in partnership with Planned Parenthood to urge legislators to reject HB 1077—which was and remains tabled as of this writing.
Access to Safe and Affordable Housing When fleeing their abuser, victims of Domestic Violence often face major obstacles locating emergency, transitional and permanent housing.
Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Ensuring the physical safety and protection of victims of Domestic Violence requires an effective response by law enforcement and legislation that restricts an abuser’s access to firearms.
Economic Justice & Financial Self-Sufficiency Access to transportation, comprehensive medical and mental health services, jobs and education are vital for a victim’s successful transition to self-sufficiency.
Serving Child Witnesses & Survivors The training of law enforcement, prosecutors, and court personnel helps the legal system provide effective, compassionate justice to domestic violence victims and their families.
Funding for Domestic Violence Services Adequate funding from both state and federal budgets makes it possible for local Domestic Violence Programs to maintain operations and respond to the needs of thousands of victims and their children annually.
Preserve and Protect Access to Services for Disenfranchised & Vulnerable Populations Preserving basic human rights for immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and victims of human trafficking is a key priority for PCADV.
In December of 2013, the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed several laws that reform the way child abuse is defined, investigated and punished. Some of these changes were effective January 1, 2014, but most do not take effect until December 31, 2014. Throughout the legislative process, PCADV worked hard to minimize potential unintended consequences for victims of domestic violence and their children. PCADV successfully advocated for several critical amendments to proposed legislation:
Senate Bill 681 (Act 25 of 2014) – Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
PCADV Position: Support
Senate Bill 681, which offers victims of sexual assault court-ordered protection from the perpetrator and sponsored by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf was signed into law on March 21, 2014. The bill was drafted with the support of PCADV and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. SB 681 allows a victim of sexual assault to acquire a “Sexual Violence Protection Order” that offers relief similar to that available from a Protection from Abuse order. It also creates an opportunity for minors who are victims of harassment and stalking by an adult to seek protection under an “Intimidation Order.” In addition to the District of Columbia, 26 states have passed laws providing protection orders for sexual assault victims. The law takes effect July 1, 2015.
House Bill 2107 (Act 115 of 2014) – Representative Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery)
PCADV Position: Support
House Bill 2107 sponsored by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) makes it a crime to disseminate an intimate image of a current or former sexual or intimate partner. This new phenomena—which many refer to as "revenge porn"—will effectively be a crime on September 7, 2014, after the bill was signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014. PCADV successfully advocated for the Senate Judiciary Committee to strengthen the penalties in HB 2107 in order to reflect what was originally included in Senate Bill 1167 (Intimate Partner Harassment) sponsored by Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks). The bill was also amended to remove the requirement that there be intent to “cause emotional distress to the person depicted” and instead require intent to “harass, annoy or alarm the person depicted.” This change will make the new law easier to prosecute.
Senate Bill 75 (Act 105 of 2014) – Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
PCADV Position: Support
PCADV has been a member of the Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Advocacy Work Group pushing for the passage of Senate Bill 75 sponsored by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery). This comprehensive bill was drafted as a result of the Pennsylvania report on human trafficking compiled by the Joint State Government Commission. SB 75 strengthens protections for victims of human trafficking and strengthens state resources to fight this form of modern day slavery. The bill was signed by the Governor on July 2, 2014, and will take effect on September 2, 2014.
House Bill 1796 (Act 200 of 2014) – Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery)
PCADV Position: Support PN 2870, Oppose PN 3107
House Bill 1796, sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery), prohibits local nuisance ordinances from penalizing tenants for calling police to respond to domestic violence and other emergencies. On March 11, 2014, HB 1796 was amended in the Senate Local Government Committee with language that preempts local governments from requiring employers to offer paid or unpaid leave, including to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Leave from employment is often critical to a victim’s survival in both the short- and long-term. For these reasons, PCADV opposed the PN 3107 version of the bill and advocated for the Senate to revert to prior PN 2870. On October 15, the Senate reverted to prior PN 2870, removing the problematic employment leave language with a vote of 26 to 22.. The bill then received a unanimous vote of support by the Senate and was signed by the Governor on October 31, 2014. The bill will take effect 90 days after October 31, 2014.
House Bill 1714 (Act 167 of 2014) – Representative Scott Petri (R-Bucks)
PCADV Position: Oppose
Many victims of domestic violence must flee their home without warning--to shelters, family members or some for hospitalization as a result of their abuse--in order to seek safety. House Bill 1714 sponsored by Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks) removes the protection a formal eviction requirement provides for tenants by allowing a landlord to dispose of a tenant's property without court intervention, oversight or supervision. Through PCADV’s advocacy an amendment was adopted in House Urban Affairs Committee to extend the time a victim with a PFA has to retrieve her or his belongings. However, this amendment is inadequate to address the problem the overall bill creates by granting the landlord unbalanced authority to dispose of a tenant’s property without due process. HB 1714 eventually passed the Senate with amendments allowing for treble damages if a landlord wrongfully disposes of a tenant’s property. The Governor approved the bill on October 22, 2014, and the law will take effect 60 days after that date.
House Bill 939 (Act 155 of 2014) – Representative Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery)
PCADV Position: Amend
The domestic violence exemption in Chapter 14 (66 Pa. C.S. § 1417) entitles victims with a Protection From Abuse Order to special billing and termination procedures, including: no liability for debts and arrearages accrued by the abuser; flexibility to make up-front payment of arrearages and/or security deposits; additional payment agreements and/or longer repayment period for arrearages; and an increased notice prior to termination. PCADV advocated to amend House Bill 939, sponsored by Rep. Bob Godshall (R-Montgomery) to expand these alternative billing and termination procedures to be accessible to victims of domestic violence that have a court order—such as a custody order or criminal protective order—a medical report, or police report providing evidence of domestic violence against the applicant. The bill was amended in Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee to allow for court orders that provide clear evidence of domestic violence to qualify an applicant for special billing procedures. This expands the qualifying orders from only Protection From Abuse Orders. The Governor signed the bill on October 22, 2014, and the law takes effect 60 days after that date.
House Bill 1218 – Representative Stanley Saylor (R-York)
PCADV Position: Support
In May of 2014, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 1218 sponsored by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York) after adopting an amendment that outlines tenants' rights in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. PCADV urged the House to make safety for victims of domestic violence and their children a top priority by allowing for early lease termination when they are fleeing an abuser.
HB 1218 balances the needs of victims and landlords by allowing victims to avoid the costs of terminating a lease as long as they give their landlord 30-days’ written notice. The bill also requires a landlord to change the locks on the home at the request of a tenant who is a victim.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill now waits for consideration in the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.
Senate Bill 1380 – Senator Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-Beaver)
PCADV Position: Support
PCADV supports the “Fund the Fund Campaign” charged with the task of securing a sustainable funding source for the Pennsylvania State Housing Trust Fund. Senate Bill 1380, sponsored by Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver) and Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-Philadelphia), would expand the Pennsylvania Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Act (PHARE) to benefit the entire Commonwealth. SB 1380 would dedicate up to $25 million in future proceeds from the Realty Transfer Tax.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill passed the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and awaits consideration by the full Senate.
House Bill 1243 – Representative Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery)
House Bill 1010 – Representative Steven Santarsiero (D-Bucks)
PCADV Position (HB 1243): Support
PCADV Position (HB 1010): Support
House Bill 1243 sponsored by Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) would require Pennsylvania to submit mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. PCADV supports an amendment to HB 1243 that would take language from House Bill 1010 sponsored by Rep. Steve Santarsiero that would require a background check for all firearms, including rifles, shot guns and other long guns. Although the underlying bill was expected to receive a vote on this amendment several times in the spring, the House of Representatives has stalled on action.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: HB 1243 now awaits full consideration by the House of Representatives where PCADV is advocating for Amendment A06142 to be adopted and create universal background checks for purchasing firearms in Pennsylvania.
House Bill 1608 – Representative Warren Kampf (R-Chester)
PCADV Position: Oppose
Victims of domestic violence have a critical need for invariable access to affordable and reliable telephone communication service that is capable of connecting the victim to emergency 911 services, crisis and intervention services, and supportive friends and/or family. For a victim in danger, the inability to place an emergency call due to faulty or deficient technology places the victim and their children at increased risk for serious injury or even death. For these reasons, PCADV testified against House Bill 1608, sponsored by Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester) that would deregulate telecommunication services in Pennsylvania. PCADV requested several amendments to the bill that would strengthen protections for low-income citizens.
AS OF JANUARY 2015: The bill is currently in House Consumer Affairs Committee.
Senate Bill 850 – Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery)
House Bill 30 – Representative Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland)
PCADV Position (SB 850): Amend
PCADV Position (HB 30): Amend
Domestic homicide is a grim reality of perpetuated domestic violence. Last year in Pennsylvania, there were 158 domestic violence fatalities; 107 of these deaths were victims, and 51 of these deaths were perpetrators. These victims were men and women, elderly and children, and spanned the socio-economic spectrum. PCADV seeks to amend Senate Bill 850, sponsored by Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), and the House companion bill sponsored by Rep. Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland) that would create additional rights and privileges for organ procurement organizations. It is important to minimize the likelihood of trauma to surviving children and other family members as a result of the organ procurement process and procedure. PCADV’s concerns with SB 850 and HB 30 include the need to establish protections to: 1) help ensure domestic abusers are not able to consent to have a victim’s body donated, 2) safeguard meaningful informed consent and confidentiality, and 3) preserve a potential crime scene for evidence collection. It is critical that the amended law balances the rights of crime victims with any additional support to organ procurement organizations.
PCADV is still working to ensure that this proposed legislation safeguards domestic violence victims and their families. Summaries include the status of these bills as of January 2015.
In simple terms, the job of the U.S. Congress is to enact laws and write regulations to say how federal agencies should implement the laws. Congress also has to appropriate funds to make sure there is money to do what the law requires. Without funding, domestic violence victims and their families may not get the services and protections they are entitled to.
VAWA includes dozens of grant programs that fund thousands of programs. These various programs and the amounts of funding for each are detailed in the NNEDV’s annual Briefing Book.
The full text of each of these versions of VAWA is available here:
Starting in 2000, in response to large fluctuations in deposits, Congress placed a cap on funds available for distribution. These annual caps were intended to maintain the Fund as a stable source of support for future victim services. The cap was set at $2.3 billion for FY 2015.
The text of the federal statute for VOCA is available here:
The Address Confidentiality Program that provides a secret and confidential address for a victim to use. According to the ACP law, an applicant must be a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or a person who lives in the same household as the victim. The Office of the Victim Advocate (OVA) manages this Program, but applicants must apply at a local domestic violence, rape crisis or victim-witness program. For more information about the ACP
The Child Protective Services Law (23 Pa. C.S. §§ 6311 - 6320) requires a person who is a designated mandatory reporter under the law to make a report of suspected child abuse if the person has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is a victim of abuse. Employees and volunteers of a domestic violence program are mandated reporters who are required to make such a report, and therefore do not break a victim’s confidentiality by doing so. It is important that victims of domestic violence and domestic violence advocates understand the requirements of this law and what happens if they violate it. PCADV provides training and technical assistance for domestic violence advocates and others on the issue of mandated child abuse reporting. For more information or training on the requirements for reporting child abuse, please contact PCADV.
The Stalking Law, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2709.1, defines stalking as a serious crime in Pennsylvania. There are two basic elements to the crime:
For more information on Stalking, visit the Stalking page on this website.
Child Custody (23 PA C.S. §§5321 – 40)
Pennsylvania’s child custody law was amended in 2010 and still requires courts to make decisions based on the best interest of the child. The new law provides the court with a list of 16 factors to consider in making its decision. It directs the court to give weighted consideration to anything affecting the safety of the child, including the present and past abuse of each parent and members of the parents’ households. The law also provides strict guidance to any person who wishes to relocate to a new home with the child if that move would take away from the other parent’s ability to see the child. Failure to follow these guidelines and get the approval of the other parent or the court before moving could have negative consequences for the relocating party. The court is directed to consider the best interest of the child in making its decision to approve the request for relocation and must give weighted consideration to any fact that affects the safety of the child. While the new law makes the safety of the child a priority, it can be a difficult law to understand. For that reason, those involved in custody matters are encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer or legal clinic so they can understand how the law might apply to their situations.
The Custody page provides more information on custody related to domestic violence.
House Bill 12, signed into law April 24, 2016, by Governor Wolf, amends 23 Pa.C.S. § 3301 to create an additional ground for divorce that assumes consent of a party if he/she
due to committing a personal injury crime— including homicide, assault, kidnapping, and human trafficking— against the other party.
The new law also prohibits the court from requiring counseling over the objection of a party that has a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order against the other party. Counseling is also prohibited if a party to the divorce has been convicted of a personal injury crime or has entered into an ARD program for the crime.
Jen and Dave’s Law (Act 119 of 1996)
Act 119 of 1996 established the nation’s first statewide, automated telephone system for providing criminal charge information for individuals involved in custody cases. The goal of the Jen & Dave Program is to protect Pennsylvania’s children by making it easier for parents to obtain criminal information about other people involved in their child custody case.
Grants for Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Services
Senate Bill 71 of 1981 is the law that first authorized the Commonwealth to make grants for domestic violence and rape crisis services. The current version of the law is now part of the Administrative Code.
Marriage License Fees to Support Domestic Violence Services (House Bill 1983 of 1990) is the law passed in 1990 that authorized the $10 surcharge on marriage licenses that is dedicated to domestic violence services. While the full text of the Act no longer appears in Pennsylvania Statutes, this Act provides funds for domestic violence services from monies collected for marriage license fees.
The Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) was established by Act 139 of 1976. The program helps victims and their families by paying for a variety of expenses, such as, medical and counseling expenses, loss of earnings, loss of support, stolen cash, relocation, funeral, or crime scene cleanup. A victim of crime can apply for this assistance with help from a victim advocate at a local Victim Service Program or by filing a claim online.
Health Care Response Act
House Bill 2268 of 1998 provides for screening of patients for symptoms of domestic violence; established the Domestic Violence Health Care Response Program in the Department of Public Welfare; and provides for domestic violence medical advocacy projects to assist in implementation of domestic violence policies, procedures, health care worker training and hospital, health center and clinic response to domestic violence victims. The Act is codified in law as 35 P.S. § 7661 et seq. 2011.
Protection From Abuse Act
23 Pa. C.S. Section 6101 et seq. or Act 66 of 2005 is the state law that provides for Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders to safeguard victims and their children from a family or household member who is abusing them. The law also provides for absolute confidentiality between a victim and a domestic violence counselor/advocate. For more information on the PFA Act, see the Protection From Abuse page.
Unfair Insurance Practices Act
40 P.S. §§ 1171.1-1171.14 Amendments to this Act in 1996 and 2006 prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or benefits to victims of domestic violence for life, health, disability, homeowners and auto insurance.
Teen Dating Violence Education in Schools
School-age youths are experiencing violence in their dating relationships at alarming rates. In 2010 Pennsylvania’s legislature passed a law, 24 P.S. § 15-1553 (2011), that permits schools to adopt a policy that addresses incidents of dating violence at school and to provide training and education to high school guidance counselors, nurses and other staff as well as parents. Schools may also provide dating violence education to students in grades nine through twelve as part of the school health curriculum. PCADV can provide school personnel, parents and other interested people with training, technical assistance and resources about dating violence, developing a school policy, and research-based curricula, and how dating violence must be addressed in our schools, homes and communities.
At the federal level, PCADV’s primary legislative goals are to:
Fully fund the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)
Reauthorize and fully fund the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Protect and increase the cap on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA)
The federal appropriations process can be complicated, and the timeline for advocating on these federal legislative goals depends on where Congress is in the process Congress at any particular time. To learn more about the budget and appropriations process, along with the timeline for action, download the Overview of the Budget Process – State and Federal.
Every year, the need for and cost of services for domestic violence victims goes up. PCADV actively works for increases in funding to keep pace with these growing needs.
PCADV is an active member of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), which is the leading national advocacy group working to increase federal funding for domestic violence services.
The federal appropriations process can be complicated, and action needs to be timely in order to be effective. To learn more about the budget and appropriations process, along with the timeline for action, see Overview of the Budget Process – State and Federal.
Programs all across the state report drastic cuts and consequences. For example:
Beyond providing essential intervention services directly to victims, programs also are responsible for guiding and coordinating their communities' response to domestic violence and initiating broad prevention initiatives. Lack of sufficient funding will result in lost opportunities to change attitudes, improve systemic responses, and prevent future abuse.
In sum, Pennsylvania's domestic violence programs are struggling to maintain operations and respond to requests for help from thousands victims and their children annually. Now, throughout the state, programs have had to lay off staff and cut back on community education and prevention efforts, have had to implement waiting lists for services, have had to bus victims to another program in another county because the shelter was full to capacity. Again, the situation is dire, and programs do not have the ability to sustain services without additional funding.
Check back for further opportunities to take action on behalf of domestic violence victims and programs in Pennsylvania.
For questions about a public policy related issues, please contact
Nicole Lindemyer, Esq., PCADV Policy Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 800-932-4632 x205.
Law and policy play an essential role in society’s response to domestic violence. Likewise, it is essential for those who care about ending domestic violence to let their lawmakers know their views and help improve the systemic response to domestic violence.
PCADV works diligently to make sure that legislators understand the needs of domestic violence victims and the programs that serve them, and we encourage you to join us in our public policy work.
Please contact your legislators to let them know your views on public policy and funding decisions.
The policy issues that affect domestic violence victims and programs are very far-reaching—from criminal law, to economic justice, to public funding for shelters and programs. The PCADV Policy Agenda details our current policy priorities, which include three primary areas:
• Homicide Prevention
as well as several other issues important to victims’ lives.
Because the need for funding affects all other aspects of domestic violence services, funding advocacy at both the state and federal level is a constant priority. We encourage you to talk with your legislators about how important it is to fund these life-saving services. To learn more about the budget process and how you can help shape funding decisions, please read Overview of the Budget Process – State and Federal
Contacting your legislators is a powerful way for you to be a part of the movement to end domestic violence. Your voice is crucial!
By reaching out and making your views known to your legislators, you can help shape laws and get the funds necessary for victims to access the services they need.
Your voice is crucial!
Below are more resources and tools to help you think about whether you have a healthy or an abusive relationship:
Director of Public Affairs
Contact for information about PCADV’s Public Policy work
in pdf format
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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, 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, 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, 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.
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.”
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
When: Monday, April 24
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Press conference starts at 11 a.m.
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.”
• 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.
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 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.
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.”
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.”
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 email@example.com.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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."
“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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
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
We know the media operate on tight deadlines. For your convenience we have provided information and statistics on domestic violence, warning signs, useful tips and links to sources. Feel free to use whatever you need for a story or sidebar. Please attribute the information to the source listed with it. If no source is listed, please attribute the information to PCADV.
For additional information and to set up interviews with experts and/or survivors, please contact our team. Their contact information is listed in the sidebar.
State and Federal Funding For Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Services (for FY 2001-02 Through 2012-13)
State and Federal Funding for PA
Caution: These factors usually form a pattern of behavior to get and keep power and control over a partner. The presence or absence of any or all of these behaviors does not predict that someone will be hurt, killed or safe.
Domestic violence victims are often in heightened danger when they first leave or attempt to end a relationship. Sometimes they postpone leaving because of fear of or financial dependence on their abuser. Abusers may control victims’ money or ruin their credit. Often abusers isolate their victims from friends, family and other sources of help. Sometimes abusers threaten to take their victims’ children away from them. Victims can get help in developing a safety plan, counseling, support, emergency shelter and other free and confidential services from their local domestic violence program.
Each county in Pennsylvania is served by a domestic violence program, that offers services such as counseling, crisis intervention, housing, information, legal and medical advocacy, safety planning, shelter, support, and referrals. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or visit our Find Help page to find the one nearest you.
PCADV can help you save time, reduce legwork, ensure accuracy, and get your story out there quickly.
We recognize that every minute counts when you're on deadline. In your coverage of domestic violence issues/incidents, the expertise and resources of PCADV and its statewide network of 60 local domestic violence programs can help you save time, reduce legwork, ensure accuracy, and get your story out there quickly.
Matthew Kemeny, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-545-6400, ext. 209
Entries should address an issue related to the Violence Against Women Act that furthers the needs of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking or their children by discussing the impact of VAWA, exploring a current substantive area of VAWA or suggesting an expansion of the Act.
At the time of submission, all entrants must be enrolled at (or have graduated within the last six months from) one of Pennsylvania’s eight accredited law schools.
Entries must be received by June 16, 2014, 5:00 pm EDT and comply with the detailed submission guidelines.
I am pleased that the House and Senate came together in a bipartisan manner to pass the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA has proven to be extremely effective in protecting Pennsylvania women and supporting victims of abuse and assault. I am particularly encouraged by the inclusion of my provisions to combat sexual violence on college campuses so that college campuses are safe and secure paces to learn and work.
Senator Bob Casey
February 29, 2013
In 1994, in a remarkable spirit of bipartisanship, the U.S. House and Senate joined to enact the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of VAWA for another 5 years.
VAWA was the first comprehensive approach to fighting violence against women through sweeping legal reforms and critically needed increases in federal funding for services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The recent reauthorization is a strong reauthorization that includes protections for women on Tribal lands, improves protections for immigrant victims, ensures services for LGBT survivors, and adds important housing protections for victims. The bill also preserves and maintains core funding for life-saving victim services.
Read About the Changes Made in VAWA 2013, summarized by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women
PCADV is proud to have been among those at the table negotiating, word by word, a law that offers safety and justice to crime victims and their families and puts the power of the federal government behind the work of preventing violence and saving lives.
We remain committed to efforts to reauthorize, strengthen and expand the provisions of VAWA so that future generations of women and their children can live and prosper in safety.
Help Us Support VAWA and its promise
Make an easy, secure online donation
Lethality Assessment Project
Legal Assistance To Victims
STOP Violence Against Women Project
"VAWA is just as important today as it was when it first became law, and I urge Congress to keep the promise we made to our daughters and our granddaughters on that day––that we would work together to keep them safe."
- Vice President Joseph Biden, urging congressional reauthorization of VAWA, September 2012
To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act - known as VAWA - PCADV partnered with all 8 Pennsylvania law schools to host a year of events across the Commonwealth to explore VAWA's protections for victims of interpersonal violence.
The 2014 PCADV Conference culminated a yearlong series of events exploring the importance of the protections created by the Violence Against Women Act and celebrating the 20th anniversary of this landmark legislation. Domestic violence advocates and attorneys learned the latest trends and techniques to assist survivors with Housing, Dating Violence, and Custody.
We were proud to have Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards as our keynote speaker. In 1994, as co-founder and Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Congresswoman Edwards led the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act that was signed into law by President Clinton.
The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, in collaboration with the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, presented a three-day training, the Fundamentals of Domestic Violence for Lawyers and Custody Litigation Training: Representing Victims of Domestic Violence in Custody Cases, on October 8-10, 2014, in Harrisburg, PA. Day 1: The Fundamentals of Domestic Violence for Lawyers. Day 2-3: Custody Litigation Training: Representing Victims of Domestic Violence in Custody Cases
Why Rachel Weeps: Violence Against Poor and Minority Women and the Wounding of the Heart
Date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 noon - 4 pm
Register yourself or as a team
Men and women - help raise awareness and support for victims of domestic violence by walking the red carpet in high-heeled shoes along Front Street in Harrisburg. Supports the Harrisburg YWCA.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of the Violence against Women Act, and the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, this documentary screening seeks to raise awareness about sexual assault violence and help educate communities on how to effectively bring these cases to trial. The documentary follows the first Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit in NYC, the first created in the US, providing an in-depth view of the day-to-day challenges faced in prosecuting sexual assault crimes. "Sex Crimes Unit" also tells the story of Natasha Alexenko, whose case was one of the first to be taken on by the Sex Crimes Unit’s cold case division.
Following the screening, Ms. Natasha Alexenko, sexual assault survivor and founder of Natasha’s Justice Project leads a discussion on her personal story along with:
Keynote Event: March 29 CLE Symposium with a moderated panel of experts and a keynote address by Professor Cheryl Hanna, of Vermont University School of Law. Hanna addresses how the international courts have framed domestic violence as a human rights issue, and compares it to the approach that courts take in the United States.
One of the most controversial aspects of the expanded 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act was the increased protection for Native American Women. Native American victims of domestic violence often cannot seek justice because their courts are not permitted to prosecute non-Native offenders—even for crimes committed on tribal land. VAWA 2013 includes a solution that would give tribal courts the authority they need to hold offenders in their communities accountable. We will host a panel of speakers to discuss the legal issues surrounding tribal governments’ criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who commit crimes on reservations.
Information and Submission Criteria The competition is now closed and submissions are being evaluated.
For PCADV's VAWA 20th Anniversary Writing Competition, law students had an opportunity to analyze a key issue (or issues) regarding the implementation of VAWA. The goal is to prepare future attorneys to understand and apply an array of protections on behalf of victims and their children.
The top three articles will be published by PCADV in a VAWA 20th Anniversary Anthology, an online publication that will compile the scholarship created at events throughout the year-long celebration. The first place article will receive a FREE Kaplan Bar Review Course.
Congratulations to the winners of PCADV’s 2nd annual “In Your Own Words” Competition to promote awareness and prevention of teen dating violence (TDV).
1st Place: Timothy White, Bellefonte Area High School, Centre County
Watch the 1st Place Video on YouTube
Honorable Mention: Brittany Polzella, North Penn High School, Montgomery County
Watch the Video on YouTube
1st Place: Carly Loper, North Penn High School, Montgomery County
Read the 1st Place Article
Honorable Mention: Ashlea-Anne Rosnick,Mount Lebanon High School, Allegheny County
Read the Article
Every participating student also was entered in a drawing to win an iPad. Austin Snyder of Line Mountain High School in Northumberland County won the drawing.
As a result of the Briggs v Norristown lawsuit, HUD also was investigating Norristown for discrimination. HUD and Norristown reached a settlement on Thursday, October 2, and Norristown must do the following:
Under the terms of this agreement with HUD, Norristown must now publish a notice of repeal of its ordinance in the local newspaper; offer fair housing training to city and public safety officials; print and distribute a fair housing rights brochure that specifically encourages all tenants to call the police when they are in need of help; and work with a local domestic violence advocacy group to develop and promote an annual community service day or other activity to raise awareness of domestic violence.
We are very pleased with this outcome and plan to use this case in the ACLU's advocacy with other municipalities across the country. Thanks to all of you for your support on this case, and especially to PCADV for its leadership on the amicus brief and educating advocates on this issue.
The litigation is part of the ACLU's "I Am Not a Nuisance" campaign, aimed at ensuring that survivors of domestic and sexual violence are able to access both secure housing and police protection when they seek it. We’d appreciate it if your organizations would consider spreading the word about our new resources:
Senior Staff Attorney, Women’s Rights Project
American Civil Liberties Union
1/17/2014 - Domestic violence victims should not have to choose between calling the police for help or being evicted. Rep. Todd Stephens' bill would prevent other domestic violence victims from losing their rental housing because of nuisance ordinances. PCADV has previously supported the lawsuit of a tenant evicted under Norristown's ordinance, and works to make sure victims understand their housing rights.
Watch the ABC27 report
Pennsylvania "is now hopefully going to be a model of how the state came together with Representative Stephens’ leadership, recognized an ill, and took action to fix it.” Laurie Baughman, PCADV Senior Attorney, is quoted in this article about the General Assembly's recent vote to prevent domestic violence survivors from being unfairly evicted for calling police for help.
Sen. Casey cites PCADV and the Lakesha Briggs case in urging education about VAWA protections for domestic violence victims
Letter of July 19, 2013 to the Departments of Justice and Housing from Sen. Casey of Pennsylvania.
PCADV filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief on May 31 in Briggs v. Norristown in support of Lakisha Briggs. Ms. Briggs' federal lawsuit challenges the Norristown, Pennsylvania, nuisance ordinance that forced her into eviction proceedings after police were called to her residence on three occasions. Peg Dierkers, PCADV Executive Director, explained, "We are fighting this ordinance in Pennsylvania to protect victims in our state and because we know that it has far-reaching consequences. We hope our work helps to end these harmful ordinances across the nation."
PCADV was joined by the PCADV Women of Color Caucus, 17 local domestic violence programs across Pennsylvania, and 4 national programs, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence NNEDV, Futures Without Violence, the National Housing Law Project, and the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.
NNEDV issued a press release announcing their support for PCADV's Amicus Brief. "No victim of abuse should have to choose between calling the police and becoming homeless" said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. Gandy went on to explain, "This mean-spirited ordinance pits the need for shelter against the need for safety from violence. … Any policy that dissuades victims from reaching out for help will have deadly consequences."
Oral argument in this case is scheduled for August 15, 2013, before the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno at the United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
ACLU files constitutional challenge to Norristown, Pennsylvania ordinance
April 24, 2013
Lakisha Briggs was threatened with eviction when police responded to her home for a third domestic violence call. The local "nuisance" ordinance forces landlords to evict tenants if police are repeatedly called to their homes. Many cities in Pennsylvania have these ordinances, which punish victims of domestic violence with homelessness for calling for help.
The first time Lakisha’s ex-boyfriend showed up at her home and assaulted her, she called for police assistance. But, when police responded to her call for help a second time, they informed her that a local ordinance required her landlord to evict her if she called police a third time. Lakisha was so afraid of eviction that she stopped calling the police for help... even when her ex-boyfriend attacked her. Fortunately, neighbors stepped up and called police and Lakisha was airlifted to the hospital for treatment. After this horrific assault, police informed Lakisha that the neighbor’s call was her third strike and threatened to force her out of her home.
On April 24, 2013, the ACLU-PA, ACLU-Women's Rights Project and the law firm of Pepper Hamilton filed a federal housing lawsuit, Briggs v. Borough of Norristown, on Lakisha's behalf. Both ACLU programs have partnered with PCADV in efforts to address homelessness and domestic violence. PCADV supports their efforts in filing this suit. We believe justice will prevail for Lakisha and other victims who face eviction for calling police. Read the ACLU statement
Brief Amicus Curiae of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, et al., In Support of Plaintiff's Motion For Preliminary Injunction, May 31, 2013.
A Woman's Place Bucks County
Alle-Kiske Area HOPE Center, Inc. Allegheny County
Blackburn Center Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Westmoreland County
Centre County Women's Resource Center
Clinton County Women's Center
Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County
Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern PA Washington and Fayette Counties
Futures Without Violence
Laurel House Montgomery County
Lutheran Settlement House, Bilingual Domestic Violence Program Philadelphia County
National Housing Law Project
National Network to End Domestic Violence
Schuylkill Women In Crisis
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Survivor's Inc. Adams County
Women Against Abuse Philadelphia County
Women In Need Franklin and Fulton Counties
Women of Color Caucus, PCADV
Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Allegheny County
Women's Center of Montgomery County
Women's Resource Center Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties
YWCA Greater Harrisburg Dauphin County
Shut Up or Get Out: PA City Punishes Domestic Violence Victims Who Call the Police, ACLU Blog, Apr. 2013
Ordinance that evicts tenants for seeking police aid is putting abused women out on the street, ABA Journal, Sept. 2013
The Clothesline Project displayed at the YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County.
Oct. 4 – 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Gettysburg Square, First Friday Kickoff Event, “Paint the Town Pink and Purple for Women’s Health.” Free pumpkin painting. $1 donation to take your pumpkin with you.
Oct. 6 – 12 – Gettysburg College, The Clothesline Project Display.
Oct. 7 – 11 – Ugly Mug Café, Silent Witnesses.
Oct. 10 – Noon – YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County, Brown Bag Lunch Discussions: ACE Study: How Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Affect Adult Health and Well-Being.
Oct. 10 – Gettysburg College, Movie Night and Discussion.
Oct. 14 – Noon – YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County, What Parents Need to Know about Dating Violence Among Teens.
Oct. 14 – 18 – YWCA of Gettysburg & Adams County, Silent Witnesses.
Oct. 20 – 26 – HACC Gettysburg Campus, The Clothesline Project Display.
Oct, 21 – 11 a.m. – HACC Gettysburg Campus, “Paint the Town Pink and Purple for Women’s Health.” Free pumpkin painting. $1 donation to take your pumpkin with you.
Oct. 21 – 25 – HACC Gettysburg Campus, Silent Witnesses.
Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 11:30 a.m. – Robert C. Hoffman Community Room at HACC Gettysburg Campus. Donna Anderson, author and survivor of psychological domestic abuse, will speak. She is the author of Lovefraud.com, a website and blog that teaches people how to recognize and recover from the psychological trauma of unhealthy romantic relationships. She also wrote Red Flags of Love Fraud and the Red Flags of Love Fraud Workbook.
Oct. 24 – noon – HACC Gettysburg Campus, Dating Violence Among College Adults.
Oct. 26 – 9 a.m. – Fairfield High School, Victory Over Violence 5K Run/Walk. Registration at event.
Oct. 28 – Noon – Gettysburg Library, Book Talk: Interpersonal Violence Committed Against Older Adults.
Tangible Assistance Program Drive – Items can be dropped at California Pizza Kitchen, Ross Park Mall, West View Bank (all branches), Perry Perk & Turo Chiropractic. Looking for donations of full-sized laundry detergent, softener & dryer sheets; toothpaste, toothbrushes & dental floss; feminine hygiene products, especially tampons; household cleaners; body wash, soap & hand soap; toilet paper, Kleenex & paper towels.
California Pizza Kitchen employees will wear domestic violence awareness T-shirts all month. Patrons who bring in Tangible Assistance Program Donations will get 20% off their bill.
Oct. 5 – 8:35 a.m. – Interview on Saturday Light Brigade. Crisis Center North will be featured for its provision of domestic violence services in the region and ENOUGH Violence exhibit at the Society for Contemporary Craft.
Oct. 5 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Society for Contemporary Craft, Saturday Information Session – ENOUGH Violence. Crisis Center North’s volunteer coordinator will present in the gallery and talk to viewers of the exhibition about the resources and services offered by CCN.
Oct. 10 – 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. – Magee Hospital Auditorium, Annual Community & Professional Intimate Partner Violence Seminar. Topic: “Setback is a Part of the Journey” Harm Reductions as a Tool in IPV Interventions. Co-sponsored with Magee Women’s’ Hospital of UPMC & Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.
Oct. 12 – Noon to 10 p.m. – Social at Bakery Square, free college football tailgating event highlighting DVAM. Food, drinks, raffles, games and college football.
Sept. 30 to Oct. 11 – Beaver Library, “Survivor’s Hope” art exhibit, created by survivors of domestic violence.
Oct. 7 – 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Beaver Library. “From Behind the Mask.” Domestic violence survivor and author Vanessa Ford Taylor will speak about her journey.
Oct. 16 – 4:15 p.m. – Berks Women in Crisis Center, 255 Chestnut St., Reading, Silent Witness March begins. 5 p.m. – Reading Area Community College’s Miller Center for the Arts, 4 N. Second St., Reading, Dedication of the Silent Witness Project and scenes from Finding Jenn’s Voice by local documentary filmmaker Tracy Schott. Finding Jenn’s Voice tells the story of Jennifer Snyder, who was murdered by her partner in Lehigh County in 2011. Jennifer also had ties to Berks County. The public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Christine Gilfillan at BWIC at 610-370-7811.
Oct. 1 to 14 – Haskell Building Window at corner of Main and 5th Avenue, “NO MORE” Campaign display.
Oct. 7 to 11 – Clarion County Courthouse, Silent Witness Display.
Oct. 8 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Zion Baptist Church, 1142 Zion Road, Clarion, “Bully the Movie.”
Oct. 14 to 31 – Haskell Building Window at corner of Main and 5th Avenue, Silent Witness Display.
Oct. 15 to 18 – Clarion County Administration Building, Silent Witness Display.
Oct. 22 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Main Street Center, SAFE’s Annual DVAM Event.
Oct. 22 – All day at Clarion County Hospital, Health Cares About Domestic Violence.
Radio talk show – TBA.
Oct. 5 – Lace Up For Lisa 5K
Oct. 5 – Perry County, Canal Day
Oct 17 – Cumberland County Candlelight Vigil
Oct. 22 – Newport Halloween Parade
Oct. 26 – Sunflower Ball
Red Ladies – National Silent Witness Program
Informational placemats in restaurants
Purple wreaths on store fronts of various businesses
An Empty Place at the Table displays at The Ranch House and Expresso Yourself restaurants.
Purple lighting off the Lieutenant Governor’s balcony in the Main Capitol.
Purple fountain water at the Dauphin County Courthouse.
Oct. 4 – 7 p.m. – Upper Darby High School football game DVAM event.
Oct. 7 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Delaware County Courthouse: All seven Delaware County hospitals will also host the Clothesline Project.
Oct. 9 – 1:30 p.m. Community Action Agency, Family Management Center, Chester, Pa., DVAM event.
Oct. 12 – 3 p.m., Empire Beauty School, Springfield, Pa. DVAM event.
Oct. 25 – 7 p.m., Chester Housing Authority, Booker T. Washington Center, Chester, Pa., DVAM event.
Oct. 1 – 7 – Blasco Library, Silent Witness Display and book display with domestic violence-related information.
Oct. 3 – Nov. 1 – Mercyhurst University, Purple foot prints with stop sign and handouts about SafeNet and No More campaign.
Oct. 4 – 6 – For Women Only, SafeNet and No More campaign information displayed.
Oct. 7 – 14 – Erie County Courthouse, Silent Witness Display.
Oct. 9 – Edinboro University, Domestic Violence Awareness Day with table display, handouts and awareness walk around campus.
Oct. 14 – 21 – Millcreek Mall, Silent Witness Display.
Oct 16 – Noon – 2 p.m. – Erie Art Museum, An Empty Place at the Table display with handouts about SafeNet and No More campaign.
Oct. 21 – 25 – Gannon University, Silent Witness Display.
Oct. 25 – 31 – Mercyhurst University Library, Silent Witness Display and book display with domestic violence-related information.
Oct. 19 – 7 p.m. – Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney, 106 East Union St., Punxsutawney, Out of the Darkness and Into the Light DVAM event.
Oct. 9 – IHM Center on Marywood University Campus, An Empty Place at the Table Exhibit.
Oct. 29 – Noon - 2p.m. – Keystone College, Students will hold an event inspired by the NO MORE website. They will prepare personal care packages to donate to Women’s Resource Center Inc., for victims. The items will be packaged in Keystone tote bags with inspirational messages created by the students. Students will also make signs reflecting why they say “NO MORE,” and a photo booth will be available during the event.
Nov. 1 – Philadelphia Convention Center, Pennsylvania Conference for Women, An Empty Place at the Table Exhibit.
Throughout October - Silent Witness Exhibits at: York Technical Institute’s Lancaster Campus. Stevens School of Technology, Lancaster General Hospital downtown location, Women’s & Babies Hospital and the Outpatient Pavilion
Oct. 12 – Brownstown – 5K race sponsoted by Fidelis Mortgage
Oct. 16 – Family Violence Resource Network meeting. DVS volunteer Vickie Davis, who lost her 17-year-old daughter to domestic violence five years ago, will be the speaker.
Oct. 4 – Purple Scavenger Hunt, a photo scavenger hunt presented in conjunction with LV Arts Council as part of First Friday Art Walk. Proceeds benefit United Way & Arts Council. $10/person or $30/team of four. Register online at www.dviolc.org. Must supply your own digital camera.
Oct. 5 – Purple Fashion Show, presented in conjunction with Online Publishers as part of the Lebanon County Women’s Expo. Free advanced registration, $5 at the door. Register online at www.agreatwaytospendmyday.com.
Oct. 8 – 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Annville Free Library, Relationship Redux: Talking to Your Kids about Healthy Relationships. This free seminar is open to the public. Register at library or call 867-1802.
Oct. 17 – Go Purple Day! Wear anything purple to show you support healthy relationships for everyone!
Oct. 22 – Boscov’s at Lebanon Valley Mall, Friends Helping Friends Day. Visit the informational booth in Boscov’s to learn about healthy relationships.
Oct. 25 – 4 p.m. to10 p.m. and Oct. 26 – 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. – QUEST on Metro Drive, Harvest Moon Fest, proceeds benefit United Way. Visit the Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County, Inc., booth to make your own purple slime.
Oct. 5 – Annual Step Out 5k Run/Walk
Oct. 17 – 6 p.m. – Muhlenberg College, Annual Vigil for Victims & Survivors of Partner Violence. Keynote speaker is retired Police Chief Roger Maclean.
Every Tues. & Thurs. in Oct. at Wilkes University – Table displays.
Oct. 2 – 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. – Wilkes University, Annual training for local police and sheriff departments in Luzerne County.
Oct. 2 – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Hazleton General Hospital, table display.
Oct. 3 – Noon – Luzerne County Courthouse, An Empty Place at the Table display.
Oct. 8 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Verizon, table display.
Oct. 9 – 11 a.m.to 1:30 p.m. – Misericordia University, table display.
Oct. 10 – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Kingston Armory, senior health fair.
Oct. 10 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Luzerne County Community College, Pridefest.
Oct. 12 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Laurel Mall, Fall Community Carnival.
Oct. 14 – Gnadden-Huetten Hospital (Carbon County) table display.
Oct. 15 – 10:30 a.m. – Carbon County EMA Building, DV Subcommittee meeting.
Oct. 16 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Geisinger Hospital, table display.
Oct. 17 – 10:30 a.m. – Carbon County, proclamation for DVAM.
Oct. 21 – Palmerton Hospital, Carbon County, table display.
Oct. 25 – 5:30 p.m. – Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, Trunk or Treat.
Oct. 29 – Lancaster, Pa., Family Involvement Conference.
– An Empty Place at the Table display in the rotunda of the YWCA Northcentral Pa. at 815 W. 4th St. in Williamsport.
– A portion of all cupcake sales at The Sun Flower Café & Bakery, a gluten-free establishment at 145 W. 4th St. in Williamsport, will be donated to the YWCA/Wise Options in support of DVAM.
– The Boutique, a high-end second-hand store at the YWCA Northcentral Pa., will exhibit T-shirts from the Clothesline Project.
– Savonna Reagan, the chairwoman of Wise Options’ Advisory Board, has recorded a radio PSA that will be broadcast throughout the month.
Oct. 4 – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. – downtown Williamsport, Heavenly Handbags, a component of the transitional shelter Liberty House where volunteers, staff and others make handbags, totes, wallets and key wristlets, will set up at First Friday and will have one table dedicated to DVAM. Purple key wristlets will be for sale. Two advocates from Wise Options will be on site to talk about DVAM and the No More campaign.
Oct. 4 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Lycoming County Courthouse, An Empty Place at the Table display will be set up and staffed by two advocates.
Oct. 5 – Wise Options clients in the emergency shelter and transitional housing have been invited to participate in the Clothesline Project and create a T-shirt.
Oct. 8 – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Valley Inn, 204 Valley St., South Williamsport, An Empty Place at the Table display will be on display. The restaurant will use DV awareness placemats that night.
Oct. 12 – 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – YMCA, 320 Elmira St., Williamsport, a community educational table on DVAM will be set up during the Susquehanna Valley Derby Vixen’s event.
Oct. 17 – 6:30 p.m. – Holiday Inn, 100 Pine St., Williamsport, the YWCA will host its annual Women of Excellence dinner. A speaker will present a short speech on Wise Options and the services it provides. An insert will be placed in the program to promote DVAM.
Oct. 21 – 6 p.m. – 815 W. 4th St., Williamsport, The YWCA and Wise Options will hold a candlelight vigil to remember those who have been affected by, those who have died as a result of and those who have survived domestic violence in Lycoming County.
Oct. 20 – 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Upper Gwynedd Township Building, 1 Parkside Place, North Wales, 5K DASH Against Domestic Violence.
Lutheran Settlement House
Oct. 5 – 9 a.m. to noon at Freedom Christian Bible Fellowship Church, 6100 West Columbia Ave. – 100 Men Can: Rally Against Domestic Violence. https://www.facebook.com/events/661976167169256/
Oct. 5 – 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. – QSPOT biweekly “safe space” for LGBTQ youth, ages 18-24. Tony Enos will introduce the community to BVDP’s full-range of LGBTQ domestic violence services and give confidential consultation to those who want it that evening. https://www.facebook.com/qspot.philly
Women Against Abuse Inc.
Oct. 10 – 10 a.m. – City Hall, Room 400, Philadelphia City Council designates October as DVAM.
Oct. 13 – Noon – Ten Thousand Villages, 1122 Walnut St., Philadelphia, “Women Against Abuse Day.”
Oct. 26 – 9:30 a.m. – West River Drive, 6th Annual Walk to End Domestic Violence, hosted by state Sen. LeAnna Washington.
Oct. 26 – 3 p.m. – Freedom Theatre, 1346 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, Voices of Domestic Violence: Dance, Music and Monologues, a soul-stirring, intimate story about faith, hope and victory.
Oct. 16 – 1 p.m. – Dingman Delaware Middle School, The Child Abuse Sumposium with PCUW.
Oct. 28 – 7 a.m. – Mt Haven Restaurant, Interfaith Prayer Breakfast to Remember Victims and Survivors of Domestic Violence.
Oct. 8 – County Commissioners Meeting, Proclaim October as DVAM.
Oct. 15-31 – Sullivan County Library. DVAM display.
Oct. 22 – Sullivan County Victim Services Open House to recognize DVAM.
Oct. 18 – 7 p.m. – Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center, Wellsboro, poetry reading featuring local authors Judith Sornberger and Lilace Mellin Guignard.
Oct. 1-31 – Titusville Library, “An Empty Place at the Table” display.
Oct. 1 – Purple ribbon displays representing the number of victims for 2012-13 at the following locations: Venango County Courthouse, Venango College, University of Pittsburgh – Titusville.
Oct. 1 – Titusville YWCA, “Hands Are Not For Hurting” class for preschoolers.
Oct. 1 – Venango College, “Domestic Violence and Its Effects on Children” class for the Venango CASA volunteers.
Oct. 2 – Freedom Center, prevention program and support group during the day.
Oct. 2 – Franklin Area School District, “Too Good for Violence” program will begin for four classes of 7th graders and will continue for nine weeks until Dec. 4.
Oct. 3 – Franklin Child Development Center, “Hands Are Not For Hurting” class for six classes.
Oct. 3 – Titusville YWCA, “Hands Are Not For Hurting” class.
Oct. 3 – Franklin Area School District, “Too Good For Violence” programs will begin for four classes of 7th graders and continue for nine weeks until Dec. 5.
Oct. 5 – Heart 2 Heart resource table with a focus on domestic violence.
Oct. 8 – Hasson Heights Child Development Center, two classes of “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 8 – PPC Violence Free Network’s Advisory Board training on primary prevention efforts.
Oct. 8 – Freedom Center prevention program and support group focused on domestic violence.
Oct. 9 – Oil City Head Start and Titusville YMCA classes on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 9 – Turning Point prevention program on domestic violence.
Oct. 9 – Venango College presentation for students on dating violence.
Oct. 11 – Franklin Area School District, “Too Good For Violence” program will begin for eight classes of eighth-graders and will continue for nine weeks until Dec. 13.
Oct. 15 – Cranberry Child Development Center, classes on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 15 – Zonta Club, information on domestic violence.
Oct. 15 – Freedom Center, prevention program and support group.
Oct. 16 – Pre-K Counts class on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 17 – Seneca Head Start and ECLC in Titusville classes on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 20 – St. Patrick’s prevention classes for 7th, 8th and 9th-graders who attend their CCD classes.
Oct. 21 – St. Stephens School classes on violence prevention.
Oct. 22 – Freedom Center prevention program and support group.
Oct. 23 – Turning Point violence prevention program.
Oct. 23 – St. Stephens School classes on violence prevention.
Oct. 23 – United Way of Titusville Area mandated reporter training.
Oct 24 – Utica Elementary School “Too Good for Violence” program will begin and continue for seven weeks until Dec. 19.
Oct. 24 – St. Stephens School violence prevention program.
Oct. 28 – Franklin Head Start classes on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 29 – Freedom Center for Women prevention program and support group.
Oct 29 – Oil City Child Development Center classes on “Hands Are Not For Hurting.”
Oct. 29 – Venango County presentation for staff on elder abuse, PPC Violence Free Network Services, PFAs and crisis intervention.
Oct. 16 – 6 p.m. – Double Tree Hilton, 8th Annual Peace Begins at Home dinner.
Oct. 26 – 2 p.m. – Petco, PAWS for DV.
Red silhouettes representing victims of domestic violence displayed in local businesses.
Oct. 12 – 18 – Paint the town purple. Incorporate purple in your business. For example, design a window display using purple clothing or create a purple food special.
Oct. 13 – 7 a.m. – 95.3 WDNH radio show on domestic violence.
Oct. 17 – 6 – 8 p.m. – The Chamber of Commerce, Honesdale. Free seminar on Workplace Response to Domestic Violence. To register call the Greater Honesdale Partnership at 253-5492.
Oct. 18 – Wear purple to honor victims of domestic violence.
Oct. 18 – 6 p.m. appetizers & cocktails – 7 p.m. buffet dinner – Erhardts Waterfront Resort. Jeans and Jewels Benefit Dance and Silent Auction. Please call 253-4401 for tickets and information.
Oct. 1 to 31 – Throughout county and on www.ywca.york.org, Purple ribbon/purple purse campaign, “Violence Is Not Strength” T-shirt sale.
Oct. 1 to 31 – Bell Socialization, York City Library and Child Care Consultants, window displays of child survivors’ artwork.
Oct. 3 to 5 – Old Main Building, York Fairgrounds, WeeUsables outreach and fundraising event (www.weeusablesevent.com/locations/york/)
Oct. 4 – 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – New Grounds Café, 284 West Market St., York, Raising Our Voices poetry/spoken word event hosted by Edquina Washington. (https://newgroundscoffee.com/cafe/events.)
Oct. 5 and 6 – York Expo Center, Women’s Show outreach booth.
Oct. 9 to 20 – 6:30 p.m. – Culinary Arts School, 1063 North George St., York, Dine-Out fundraiser for ACCESS with musical guests Sabrina Duke and Rick Azzaro. Register at www.ywcayork.org under Events.
Oct. 12 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Empire Beauty School, 2592 Eastern Blvd., Kingston Square Shopping Center, York, Day of Beauty with proceeds benefitting ACCESS.
Oct. 18 – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. – New Grounds Cafe, 284 West Market St., York, Singing for Survivors music show, a concert to benefit ACCESS-York/VAC/YWCA York (see https://newgroundscoffee.com/cafe/events)
Oct. 25 – 7 p.m. – Asbury Church, 340 E. Market St., York, REACH performance, a play performed by teens about the complex issues of their lives, including abuse, violence, relationships, and hope.
PCADV´s 60 community-based programs assisted 2,308 women, men and children during the 24-hour period of the national census of domestic violence services conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Pennsylvania ranked seventh highest among states in total number of people served on the census day.
"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," PCADV Executive Director Peg Dierkers said.
Read more about the census in the full PCADV press release.
Read the full NNEDV report.
Oct. 8 – 6pm – Robert Morris University, PFA Journey With Students.
Oct. 10 – 11am-2pm – Markey Square, Pittsburgh, PURPLE is the new Pink, press conference & awareness event.
Oct. 15 – 11am – YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, A Week Without Violence.
Oct. 22 – 12:30pm – CCAC Allegheny Campus, Student Service Center, 2nd Floor, Lynn Shiner and “Stabbed in the Heart.”
Oct. 22 – 6pm – UPMC Cumberland Woods Village Theater, Lynn Shiner and “Stabbed in the Heart.”
Oct. 23 – 2:30pm – CCAC North Campus, room 3002, Lynn Shiner and “Stabbed in the Heart.”
Oct. 24 – 7pm – Montour High School, Moon/Montour Purple Out.
Oct. 25 – 6pm – The Royal Place, 2600 Library Road, Pittsburgh, Remember My Name, Be My Voice.
Oct. 30 – 6pm-10:30pm – Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, Crisis Center North’s First Annual Witches Ball.
Oct. 30 – 6pm-9pm – Salon Vivace, "FALL...into healthy hair and relationships."
Oct. 17 – Noon – Penn State Beaver, CCN Panel Discussion.
Oct. 17 – 1pm – Penn State Beaver, Meet & Greet with Canine Court Advocate Penny.
Oct. 17 – all day – Penn State Beaver, “Purple Out” on campus. Everyone wear purple.
Oct. 5 – 2pm-4pm – Grovedale Winery and Riverbarge Brewery, Wyalusing, PA, DV Awareness Month Kick-Off
Oct. 25 – 8pm – Towanda, PA, Towanda Halloween Parade. Theme this year: “Be Heroic, stand up to DV”, bring your cape, masks will be provided.
Oct. 11 – 8am registration, 9am race – Central Park, 452 Wells Road, Doylestown, PA, Race to Empower 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk.
Oct 16 – 10:30am – Carbon County Annex Building, Jim Thorpe, PA, Presentation of Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation by Carbon County Commissioners.
Oct. 20 – 11am-1pm – Lehigh County Community College, Jim Thorpe Campus, Jim Thorpe, PA, Lehigh Carbon Community College Information Table
Trees in front of Bellefonte Courthouse, domestic violence ribbons.
Businesses throughout Centre County, DVAM baskets displays
Schlow library, Bellefonte Library, Book Mobile, DVAM book & info displays
5 Centre County Food Banks, DVAM Bookmark Distribution
Local Thrift Stores and Bakeries, The Purple Sale Campaign
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, 24/7 Social Media Campaign
Sept. 1-Oct. 3 – 24/7 – www.crowdrise.com/purplepurse-wrccentrecounty, The Purple Purse Campaign
Sept. 29-Oct. 12 – Everyday – Harrison's Wine & Grill, 1221 East College Avenue, State College, PA 16801, Eat, Drink, & Raise Money for Centre County Women’s Resource Center
Oct. 5 – 1pm – White Course Drive parking lot near the PSU entrance on N. Atherton St., Steps 2 Safety
Oct. 7 – 10am – Willowbank Building, Bellefonte, Commissioners Meeting - DV Proclamation
Oct. 10 – Mail “Thank You for Helping Us to Create a Safer Community” to county law enforcement, youth agencies, first responders, judges, etc.
Oct. 22 – 12:15pm-1:30pm – PSU, 404 Main, Commission for Women Panel: WE ARE all responsible
Oct. 29 – 5:30pm – Bellefonte Courthouse Steps, Remember My Name: Honoring DV Victims and First Responders.
Oct. 29 – 5:30pm – Bellefonte Courthouse Lawn, The Clothesline Project.
Oct. 1 – 6:30pm – Triangle Park, Lock Haven, PA, Domestic Violence Awareness Month Vigil
Oct. 4 – 5:30pm – Haywoods on the Green, 35th Anniversary Gala and Auction
Oct. 1 – 4:30pm – Meadville Diamond Park, 4th Annual Walk A Mile in Her Shoes.
Oct. 9 – 7pm – Ford Chapel Allegheny College, Domestic Violence Awareness Candlelight Vigil.
Oct. 3 – 8am – YWCA Highmark Room, First Responders Breakfast.
Oct. 7 – 11am-?2pm – Grand Ballroom of the Radisson, Camp Hill, The Power of Style Fashion Show.
Week of Oct. 13 – Week Without Violence: #Harvest4Hope.
Oct. 15 – 4pm-6pm – YWCA Greater Harrisburg, Harvest4Hope event.
Oct. 22 – 9am-noon – YWCA Greater Harrisburg, “When the Golden Years Turn Black and Blue.”
Oct. 3 – 7pm – Uniontown High School, Uniontown High School Football Game "Purple Out."
Throughout October: Franklin County Library Branches, DVAM Awareness Exhibits
Oct. 2 – 7pm – Shippensburg University, Orndorff Theater, Stabbed in the Heart: Domestic Violence Speakers
Oct. 7 – 4pm – Shippensburg University, Garden in front of library, Tulip Planting Ceremony
Oct. 7 – 9:45am – Commissioners' Meeting Room, Commissioners' Office Complex, 14 North Main Street, Chambersburg, PA, Commissioner’s DVAM Proclamation Reading
Oct. 8 – All day – Wilson College, Lenfest Commons, Wilson Art Days – WIN Forget Me Know Flowers
Throughout October: McConnellsburg Library, DV Survivor Art Exhibit
Oct. 14 – 6:30pm – Mt. Morris Senior Center, Mt. Morris Lions Club DVAM presentation.
Oct. 8 – 7pm – IHM Center, Marywood University, Empty Place at the Table.
Oct. 20 – noon-6pm – Keystone College, Empty Place at the Table.
Oct. 9th – Manheim Central High School, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 10- Oct. 14 – San Juan Bautista, 425 S. Duke St., Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 15- Oct. 17 – SACA—Tec Centro, 102 Chester St., Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 20- Oct. 23 – York Technical Institute, 3050 Hempland Rd., Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 24- Oct. 28 – Brightside Opportunities Center, Hershey Ave., Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 30- Nov. 2 – Women’s & Babies Hospital, Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Nov. 3- Nov. 6 – Suburban Outpatient Pavilion, Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA, Silent Witness Exhibit
Oct. 4 – 9am-3pm – Lebanon Expo Center, Lebanon Women’s Center
Oct. 11 – noon-7pm – QUEST, Harvest Moon Fest benefiting United Way of Lebanon
Oct. 12 – 11am-2pm – Monument Park, Clothesline Project Display
Oct. 24 – all day – Go Purple Day – Say no more to domestic violence by wearing purple. Tweet photos with #GoPurpleLebCo
Oct. 1 – 8am-9:30am – Hazleton Area High School, Hazleton, PA, Safe Dates Kick Off.
Oct. 2 – 5:30pm-9pm – Woodlands Skye Bar, Wilkes Barre, PA, Friends of Jane Aiello Fundraiser.
Oct. 10 – 10:30 am-2:30 pm – Dominican House, Hazleton, PA, Empty Place at the Table.
Oct. 23 – noon-2pm – Luzerne County Courthouse, Wilkes Barre, PA, Annual Vigil at the Courthouse.
Oct. 25 – 2pm-4pm – Barnes Martial Arts, Forty Fort, PA, Barnes Marital Arts Self Defense Demonstration and DV Awareness Presentation.
Oct. 31 – 5:30 pm-7:30 pm – Wilkes Barre Public Square, Wilkes Barre, PA, Trunk or Treat.
Oct. 4 - 5pm - 9pm - Battle of the Bands to support YWCA Options Program, The Cell Block, W. 3rd St., Williamsport
Oct. 20 - 6:15pm - Vigil of Remembrance and Awareness, YWCA Northcentral PA, 815 W. 4th St., Williamsport
Oct. 8 – 6pm – YWCA Bradford, Full Moon Magic: Women’s Empowerment Workshops.
Oct. 23 – 7pm – Bradford Area Public Library, Peace Begins With Me – Student Poster Contest Awards.
Oct. 28 – 6pm – Harriett B. Wick Chapel, Domestic Violence Poetry Contest.
Oct. 9 – 6pm – Courtyard, Monroe County Courthouse, North 7th and Monroe Streets, Stroudsburg PA, 28th Annual Candlelight Vigil.
Oct. 14 – 5:30pm – Coolbaugh Township Municipal Complex, 5500 Memorial Drive, Tobyhanna, PA, Coolbaugh Township Vigil.
Oct. 26 – 8am – Pleasant Valley School District Athletic Stadium, Brodheadsville, PA, Run to End Violence 5K Race/Walk.
Oct. 30 – Domestic Violence and Family Law, hosted by Monroe County Bar Assn., Women’s Resources of Monroe County and PCADV. By invitation only.
Oct. 19 – 8am – Upper Gwynedd Township Park, 5K DASH Against Domestic Violence.
Oct. 23 – 11:30am-1:30pm – Danville Elks, 40th Anniversary Luncheon
Oct 18. – 100 Men Can: Rally Against Domestic Violence. Lutheran Settlement House
October 30 – ¡Salud: A Celebration of Survivors. Lutheran Settlement House
Oct. 3 – Noon – Love Park, 7th Annual iPledge Campaign Press Conference
Oct. 16 – 9am-4pm – PA Conference for Women, Empty Place at the Table
Oct. 23 – 3:30pm-5:30pm – 216 W. Somerset St.. Candlelight Vigil and Mural Unveiling.
Week of Oct. 6 – Mahanoy Valley High School, The Clothesline Project display & An Empty Place at the Table display.
Beginning Oct. 7 – Schuylkill Medical Center, (East Norwegian Street) and Schuylkill Medical Center (South Jackson Street), The Empty Place at the Table display.
Week of Oct. 13 – Williams Valley High School, The Clothesline Project display & An Empty Place at the Table display.
Week of Oct. 20 – Schuylkill County Courthouse, The Clothesline Project display.
Week of Oct. 27 – Penn State Schuylkill, The Clothesline Project display & An Empty Place at the Table display.
Oct. 2 – 7pm – Isaacs Auditorium, Seibert Hall, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Title IX Panel Discussion.
Oct. 11 – 9am-3pm – Empire Beauty School, Shamokin Dam, PA, Empire Beauty School’s National Day of Beauty.
Oct. 26 – noon-5pm – Best Bowl, Rt. 522 Selinsgrove, PA, Invinci-Bowl Bowling
Oct. 4 – noon-4pm – Montrose Green, 1.4 mile walk at noon followed by skit presentations by the Barefoot Followers & guest speakers.
Oct. 7 – 6pm – Hufnagle Park, Lewisburg, PA (Rain Location: The Campus Theatre, Lewisburg, PA) Stop the Hate Rally.
Oct. 27 – 7pm – Union County Public Library, Lewisburg, PA, Public Service Program: Domestic Violence.
Oct. 15 – 6pm cash bar, 7pm dinner – DoubleTree by Hilton Meadow Lands, PA, Peace Begins at Home dinner.
Oct. 18 – 10am – Split Rails Sporting Clays, Split Rails Clay Shoot.
Oct. 26 – 11am – Hilton Southpointe, PA Southern Celebrity "Boo-tacular" Pageant.
Oct. 27 – 7pm – Union County Public Library, Lewisburg, PA, Public Service Program: Domestic Violence.
Purple Ribbon Campaign: at least 15,000 purple ribbon cards with information about our services will be distributed to local businesses throughout York County; to request ribbons to display at your business, contact Melissa Bair at 434-1736 or email@example.com.
Window Displays of Children’s “Hands Are Not For Hitting” Artwork: displays
will be on view at Bell Socialization, Martin Memorial Library, and YTI. “violence is not strength” T-Shirts have been restocked so get yours today! Free Yoga!: to celebrate our positive sources of strength and develop new methods of healing trauma, local yoga studios will be offering FREE yoga classes to those who bring a DVAM ribbon card or flyer to class.
Oct. 1 – noon – Continental Square, Downtown York, Domestic Violence Awareness Month KickOff Event.
Oct. 3 – 5pm – Downtown York, Walk A Mile In Her Shoes & Kick Off Your Heels
After-Party, see www.ywca.york.org for more information and registration.
Oct. 4-5 – York Expo Center, Women’s Show Outreach Booth.
Oct. 6-7 – HACC York, Outreach Table.
Oct. 10 – 7pm-10:30pm – New Grounds, 284 W. Market Street, “Raise Your Voices” Poetry/Spoken Word Event, a powerful series of poetry and spoken word performances.
Oct. 11 – 9am-4pm – Empire Beauty School, Day of Beauty Fundraiser for ACCESS-York, with all proceeds from day benefitting ACCESS-York.
Oct. 16 – 9am-4pm – Yorktowne Hotel, Clergy Committee Conference on Domestic
Violence & Faith Communities, contact Kristian Kent at 434-?1761 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
Patricia Thompson Lay
Dana Wilson Miller
Heather Marie Bechtel
Mariah Jai Anderson
Douglas C. Weingartner
Camryn Lee Shultz
Edward Joseph White Jr.
Eric W. Williams
Jack St. Onge
Constance “Connie” Murray
Maria C. Peralta
Karen Louise Harkcom
Lloyd “Bud” Shontz
Richard Bauduin Jr.
Dawn Marie Wagner
Billie Jo Bratton
Shirley P. Westheafer
Governor Tom Corbett
Rep. Will Tallman (R-Adams)
Sen. Charles McIlhinney (R-Bucks)
Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland)
Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin)
Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich
Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon)
Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh)
Rep. Daniel McNeill (D-Lehigh)
Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery)
Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery)
Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery)
Rep. Mike Regan (R-York)
Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York)
Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York)
Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York)
Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia)
Rep. James Roebuck (D-Philadelphia)
A Woman’s Place, Bucks County
Blackburn Center, Westmoreland County
Crisis Center North, Allegheny County
Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County
Domestic Violence Intervention of Lebanon County Inc.
Domestic Violence Service Center Inc., Luzerne County
Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties
Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County
Laurel House, Montgomery County
Survivors Inc., Adams County
Women Against Abuse Inc., Philadelphia
Women’s Resource Center Inc., Columbia County
Your Safe Haven, Franklin County
YWCA of Greater Harrisburg/Violence Intervention & Prevention Services VIP, Dauphin County
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.
The information provided under this topic is not legal advice, does not create an attorney-client relationship, and is not a substitute for contacting an experienced attorney. While PCADV strives to ensure that all information on this website is current and accurate, PCADV is not legally responsible for the accuracy of the information on the website and/or the various linked websites. PCADV is not responsible for any actions a website user takes as a result of accessing information on the website. Under no circumstances does any information contained in or obtained from any part of PCADV’s website or links to other websites constitute legal advice or form an attorney/client relationship.
Advocates get answers tailored to the unique characteristics of each victim/survivor and each county.
Generally there are two types of advocates who work with victims/survivors. Each has distinct roles and responsibilities. Understanding these distinctions is essential when assisting victims to navigate the justice system as well as to access comprehensive community services.
Domestic Violence Counselor/Advocate is "an individual associated with a community-based domestic violence program, the primary purpose of which is the rendering of counseling or assistance to victims/survivors of domestic violence." (PFA Act definition) Autonomy and self-direction by the victim are cornerstones of the domestic violence advocacy approach.
Victim Witness Advocates help victims navigate the criminal and juvenile justice systems and advocate for victims within these systems. Victim Witness advocates often work within the District Attorney’s office
Victim Witness advocates can help victims get comprehensive services by referring to a community-based domestic violence program when they are not able to advocate in a way the victim wishes. Making appropriate referrals to the local domestic violence program for confidential counseling, housing, assessment and safety planning helps to build a network of support for domestic violence victims.
Confidentiality - Differing Levels
Pennsylvania law prohibits domestic violence advocates from revealing any communications between them and victims, even in court. There are differing levels of confidentiality based on training, statutory protections and professional licensing. Domestic violence and victim witness advocates are trained to understand the limits of confidentiality, the protection it provides victims, and when a victim's written consent is necessary. Victim witness advocates can be honest with victims about the limits of confidentiality.
Counseling - A Network of Support
Confidential counseling services are provided by trained counselors at every local domestic violence program at no cost. Victims of domestic violence and stalking often benefit from short-term counseling and sometimes longer-term counseling from the domestic violence program. Collaborating with the domestic violence program can be an opportunity for victim witness advocates to assist victims in building a network of support.
Housing - A Safety Issue
Victims of domestic violence and stalking have a very basic need for safety and security that will need to be met before moving forward in any criminal or civil legal proceeding. All domestic violence programs in Pennsylvania offer short-term housing options for victims of domestic violence and stalking (including men) and their children. Some have longer-terms housing options as well.
The Address Confidentiality Program can also provide options for victims to keep abusers from finding them and their families.
Notification of Offender Status - 1-866-9PA-SAVIN
PA SAVIN (Statewide Automated Victim Information & Notification) is a free, confidential and automated service that helps victims, law enforcement, advocates and community members keep up to date on the status of an offender housed in a county jail, state prison or under state parole supervision. Registration for automated notifications should only be one part of a comprehensive safety plan for victims of crime.
Safety Planning - Referral is key
Domestic violence and stalking victims need individualized safety plans that meet their needs, which can change over time. At the local domestic violence program, victims work with specially trained professional advocates who can help meet their safety and counseling needs. Domestic violence advocates also have access to comprehensive resources for domestic violence and stalking victims.
Victims Compensation - Enables Victim Self-sufficiency
Pennsylvania Victims Compensation Assistance Program (VCAP) 800-233-2339. All agencies and individual advocates should provide VCAP information. VCAP can remunerate victims for costs incurred as a result of a crime (reimbursement for services required as a result of injuries; medical services and prescriptions; counseling; loss of earnings; relocation expenses; and benefits regarding children). VCAP is under-used, especially for domestic violence survivors who never access the criminal or juvenile justice systems.
Basic information and list of hotlines by county. Suitable for employees and clients. Formatted for desktop printing. Full color.
Basic information and list of hotlines by county. Suitable for employees and clients. Formatted for desktop printing. B&W.
Provides information about public utility and benefit programs to help survivors cope with the high cost of winter heating and utilities.
Social services personnel can assume a significant percentage of their client population is or has been affected by current or past abuse.
PCADV and its member programs are here to help social services professionals assist victims of domestic violence and their families.
Call us at 800-932-4632.
Many abused women initially reach out to a variety of other social services providers as they take steps towards alternatives to the abuse, but often do not identify themselves as victims of domestic violence. Yet practitioners seldom screen for abuse or, more importantly, assess the safety needs of the people they see. A fuller understanding of domestic violence, its devastating effects and effective forms of intervention and assistance helps both social services personnel and their clients.
Request staff training on working with children exposed to domestic violence or working with domestic violence survivors.
Get assistance with developing protocols for inter-agency referrals or specific procedures for screening for domestic violence.
Contact our Legal Department at 888-235-3425 for information about family law and domestic violence law. (This is not a helpline for victims.)
Lifetime experiences of abuse and violence are common among women seen in mental health settings. The National Association of Social Workers, in The Social Work Response to Domestic Violence suggests that:
"In mental health settings, including substance abuse services, universal domestic violence screening of women and girls should be routine. Abuse has significant, lasting mental health effects that, if left undetected, would hinder care. Domestic violence is a significant risk factor for depression, PTSD, anxiety and substance abuse in women."
Local domestic violence programs are equipped with an array of free and confidential services. These may include assisting victims in reviewing their options, providing access to legal alternatives for addressing abuse, short and long-term safety planning, providing emergency shelter, peer and/or facilitator-led support groups and/or one-to-one advocacy-focused counseling.
These programs can also be of assistance to social services personnel seeking to provide support to their clients who are victims of abuse.
In recent years, universal screening has been embraced by sectors of the medical and social work communities. The concept is simple - routinely ask questions of each of your clients about whether they feel safe at home/in their relationship or if anyone has threatened, abused or made them fearful in some way. PCADV has put together some has simple guidelines and sample questions. Integrating these questions into the conversation may take some practice but is highly effective in reducing the isolation many victims feel and provides the opening for referral to domestic violence services. If a client's response is affirmative, practitioners can engage in some basic safety planning and be prepared to offer referrals to local domestic violence services. The tool is also available in the Farsi language.
Courtesy of Khaneh Amn.
Couples counseling should never be offered if there is violence or the threat of violence present in a relationship. It has proven to be inappropriate, ineffective, and may even heighten the risk of further abuse in relationships where one partner is abusing the other.
For the same reasons, cases where there is domestic violence are NOT cases where Family Group Decision Making should be used. If a practitioner is providing couples counseling, even if both parties request it, best practice in assessing the relationship includes interviewing each party separately and screening for abuse. Contact PCADV at 800-545-6400 or your local domestic violence program for more information.
Couples counseling is beneficial to work on marital problems. Wife battering, however is a violent criminal act, not a marital problem. It is illegal. It is a behavior that is solely the responsibility of the violent person, is chosen by him, and he alone is capable of changing it. This is true regardless of the alleged provocation, since the behavior of one family member cannot compel another family member to be violent. Violent behavior must be addressed and stopped before couple counseling takes place. FaithTrust Institute, Excerpt from A Policy Statement on Domestic Violence Couples Counseling,
Domestic violence program advocates have an absolute privilege of confidentiality that is outlined in the Protection from Abuse Act. Understanding these constraints and their implications will assure confidential, safe coordination of services can be accomplished through the use of a Release of Information and with the explicit permission of the client.
Social services personnel are likely to encounter clients who are the perpetrators of abuse. Successful interventions with batterers will hold them accountable for their behavior and address the safety of the victim of the abuse. Anger and/or stress management do not address the power and control issues batterers often use to justify their abuse and their effectiveness is usually short-term. The abuser can be referred to another mental health professional equipped to work with batterers or to a specialized batterer's treatment program. The local domestic violence program can provide information about batterer intervention services in your area. Contact your local domestic violence program or PCADV at 800-545-6400 for technical assistance or more information about working with batterers.
PCADV has assisted Pennsylvania justice system personnel with questions about:
Training and technical assistance is funded by a grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, using funds originating from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
STOP (Services. Training. Officers. Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Program.
The Legal Department's attorneys and advocates provide training and technical assistance to counties in Pennsylvania that receive STOP funding. The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program encourages the development and improvement of effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to address violent crimes against women and the development and improvement of advocacy and services in cases involving violent crimes against women. STOP teams generally consist of members of law enforcement, prosecutors, court personnel and victim services providers.
Designed in consultation with prosecutors from across Pennsylvania to address important evidentiary issues that are regularly encountered by prosecutors who specialize in domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking cases:
The Manual includes research based upon the realities of working with domestic violence victims in Pennsylvania counties. Each chapter represents an area of law that has a significant impact on victim safety and offender accountability. The Manual is designed to provide guidance to those seeking to create a seamless network of responses, resources and services to victims of domestic violence and their children. The Manual is not available electronically, but is available upon request. Please contact PCADV's Legal Department at 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767 to request a copy.
Contact PCADV's Legal Department at 1-888-235-3425 or 717-671-4767 about customized training for your county, region or professional conference.
Recent training topics for Pennsylvania justice system audiences:
National District Attorneys Association, November 2008.
The Battered Women's Justice Project, October 2003
Visit our PSVI webpage
Call for questions about PSV or PFI orders in the PFA database (PFAD) - 888-235-3425
the PFA Act, the Protection From Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act, procedure, forms, enforcement, state and federal firearms law, child custody and domestic violence, the Protection From Sexual Violence or Intimidation Actdomestic violence information and statistics, domestic violence fatalities, court interpreters, compliance with the Federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and other domestic violence statutes and case law.
Recent questions include
Training and technical assistance is funded by a grant awarded by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, using funds originating from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
Watch and listen as the Honorable Diana Anhalt, of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and Assistant District Attorney James Carpenter, Chief of the Family Violence & Sexual Assault Unit of the Philadelphia DA’s Office, explore domestic violence witness intimidation and strategies for creating a safe and effective courtroom.
Firearms Law - PA and US Especially for Judges
Safety In and Beyond the Courtroom
For judges, court personnel, sheriffs, hearing officers, guardians ad litem and others working within the court
Understanding & Responding to Stalking in the Court of Common Pleas For judges by experts from the national Stalking Resource Center, informs courts how to identify stalking and respond to it with appropriate sanctions and monitoring.
Working with Victims of Domestic Violence in Later Life Identify ways to enhance access to justice for victims of domestic violence in later life.
Get the Benchbook here
Written under the direction of a group of judicial leaders from across Pennsylvania, the Benchbook addresses evidence, pro se litigants, emerging practices in addressing domestic violence, criminal court concerns, teen dating violence and a variety of civil court issues including PFA and custody cases. The Benchbook is intended to provide substantive legal information and tools for trial court judges, and to be a concise and thorough compilation of statutory and case law related to domestic violence. Revisions as well as new chapters are written to keep the Benchbook current with Pennsylvania and federal laws.
This Benchbook covers domestic violence law and precedent as it pertains to the Magisterial District Courts. The first chapter explores circumstances where the district judge may encounter domestic violence, ways it may effect proceedings, and the judge's powers to safeguard families and communities by holding offenders accountable. Other chapters review the intersections between domestic abuse and bail hearings, protection orders, victim and court safety and other civil proceedings. The Benchbook highlights the critical role of the magisterial district judge in assessing cases for coercion and abuse that could derail justice if left unexamined.
The PFA Act Annotated contains the full text of the Act, 23 Pa.C.S. sections 6101 - 6123, and appellate case law annotations within the applicable sections. The PFA Annotated also describes cases relevant to the PFA Act's relationship with other proceedings: custody, divorce, dependency. Cases are also indexed by relevant section.
Bilingual Protection From Abuse documents translated into the eleven most commonly encountered languages in the Pennsylvania court system
Bilingual Criminal Protective Order documents are translated into five languages for Pennsylvania courts: Chinese, Khmer, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese
Judicial Benchcard for Court Interpretation in Protection Order Hearings informs the court about what to expect from an interpreter and how the court can assist communication in interpreter proceedings
Did you know? Survivors of domestic violence may apply for health insurance through healthcare.gov at ANY TIME. They do not need to wait for Open Enrollment. They qualify for a Special Enrollment Period because they are survivors of domestic violence. Learn more about this Special Enrollment Period for survivors of domestic violence on HealthCaresAboutIPV.org!
Domestic violence is both a personal and community health issue. Domestic violence affects all ages, encompassing child abuse, domestic violence and elder abuse.
1. As many as 40% of all women who seek care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries have been injured by a current or former partner.
2. Estimates of the prevalence of domestic violence against pregnant women range from 7% to 20%.
3. Children of mothers who experience prenatal physical domestic violence are at an increased risk of exhibiting aggressive, anxious, depressed or hyperactive behavior.
4. People and children with disabilities are significantly more likely to become victims of violence, abuse, or neglect than people without disabilities.
Cites: (1) T.M. Nappi et al. 2004. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health. Domestic Violence: A Guide to Screening and Intervention. 3. (2) Id. (3) Whitaker, RC, Orzol, SM, Kahn, RS. 2006. Maternal Mental Health, Substance Use, and Domestic Violence in the Year After Delivery and Subsequent Behavior Problems in Children at Age 3 Years. Archive of General Psychiatry. 63: 551-560. (4) http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/relatedconditions.html.
Medical emergencies and ongoing abuse can lead to long-term health problems. Some issues include, but are not limited to, physical, emotional, and mental trauma; anxiety, depression and other mental health issues; neglect; special risks associated with pregnancy; child abuse; drug and alcohol addiction; rape, sexual coercion, and non-consensual pregnancies; sexually transmitted infections; traumatic brain injury; withholding, delaying, or misusing needed equipment and medication; and health issues that stem from homelessness or a significantly compromised quality of life.
Health care providers can play a critical role in preventing and intervening in the dangerous, even fatal, patterns of domestic violence. The Pennsylvania Department of Welfare's 2010 Domestic Violence Task Force acknowledges:
The health care system has a vital role to play in bringing about social and institutional changes to end domestic violence.
A brief screening process for every patient regardless of gender, race, age, sexuality, religion, nationality, profession, or economic status can make a critical difference for adults, teens, and children who live with or are at risk for abuse.
Health care providers are usually the first and sometimes last contact a victim of violence encounters. Talking with patients about domestic violence provides a valuable opportunity for providers to learn about their experiences with abuse. Battered women report that one of the most important aspects of their interactions with a physician was being listened to about the abuse. July 2010 Report of the Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Task Force, Pennsylvania Department of Welfare,
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that physicians screen ALL patients for intimate partner violence by making the following statement and asking these three simple questions:
"Because violence is so common in many women's lives and because there is help available for women being abused, I now ask every patient about domestic violence:
1. Within the past year -- or since you have been pregnant -- have you been hit, slapped, kicked or otherwise physically hurt by someone?
2. Are you in a relationship with a person who threatens or physically hurts you?
3. Has anyone forced you to have sexual activities that made you feel uncomfortable?"
Use the acronym RADAR, as explained below.
R = Routinely Screen Patients
A = Ask Direct Question - So the patient can answer "yes" or "no"
D = Document Your Findings
A = Assess Patient Safety
R = Review Options and Referrals
Documenting signs of abuse in a patient's medical record provides information for future visits that may cast light on chronic conditions and behavioral health issues.
Providers can refer patients who are abused by their intimate partners or family members to their local domestic violence program, hospital or clinic domestic violence medical advocate, to discuss safety planning and options.
One barrier to screening that practitioners report is a feeling that their intervention will not be effective or the patient will not leave the abuser. Leaving an abuser is a process, one in which a victim assesses safety, financial and legal resources, timing, family and other support before successfully separating. A year after separating finds most victims safer, but retaliatory violence (even homicide) is a documented concern. Education about abusers' behavior, as well as training on recognizing, screening and appropriately referring patients for domestic violence, help to boost staff confidence in their interventions.
A trauma-informed model for health care services acknowledges the complex and overlapping circumstances in the lives of many patients, and PCADV supports this methodology as the Best Practices approach.
The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health has information and technical assistance for working with those who live with intimate partner, family, or dating abuse.