HARRISBURG, Pa., (October 21, 2019) — The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), joined by partners, advocates, legislators and volunteers, today held its annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Ceremony at the State Capitol.
Domestic Violence Month is observed nationally during the month of October. It serves as a time to unite advocates, survivors, lawmakers, and others in the effort to prevent and end domestic violence. PCADV honors those who lost their lives to domestic violence in the last year in a ceremony where each victim’s name is read by a Pennsylvania legislator, while silhouettes with the person’s name are displayed by an advocate. The ceremony creates a powerful visual reminder of the prevalence of domestic violence in the Commonwealth and the fact that it too often turns deadly.
Representative Sheryl Delozier (R-Cumberland) and Senator Tom Killion (R-Chester) presented resolutions acknowledging October as Domestic Violence Month in Pennsylvania. PCADV CEO, Susan Higginbotham spoke on the organization’s programs design to prevent domestic violence before it happens, and when it does, to connect victims and survivors with a broad range of services to help them access safety and justice. Second Lady, and access and equity advocate, Gisele Fetterman was this year’s keynote speaker. She discussed the need to build healthy, equitable communities as a cornerstone of violence prevention.
In 2018, 123 women, men and children lost their lives to domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Consistent with every other year for the last decade, firearms were the number one method of killing—fifty-seven percent of victims were killed by firearm. Four victims were under the age of eighteen. Sixty-eight percent of victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner. Additional statistics about domestic violence fatalities can be found in PCADV’s 2018 Fatality Report.