Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another in an intimate or familial relationship.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, age, education level, socio-economic status, ethnicity, religion, or ability. There is no typical case of domestic violence. Domestic violence survivors are our neighbors, our co-workers, or our family members. Most people who experience domestic violence are women — 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence — although men experience domestic violence, too.
In Pennsylvania alone, 112 people died in domestic violence incidents last year.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month provides an opportunity to remember victims of domestic violence, raise awareness of what domestic violence is, how to recognize it, and what we can all do to collectively prevent it.
Where to Get Help
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV)
• Call: 1-800-932-4632 (PA); 1-800-537-2238 (National)
• Find your local domestic violence center
Among the services provided to domestic violence survivors are: crisis intervention; counseling; accompaniment to police, medical, and court facilities; and temporary emergency shelter for survivors and their dependent children. Prevention and educational programs are provided to lessen the risk of domestic violence in the community at large.
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)
• Call: (888) 772-PCAR
• Find your local Sexual Assault Center
PCAR is a nonprofit organization working at the state and national levels to prevent sexual violence. Founded in 1975, PCAR continues to use its voice to challenge public attitudes, raise public awareness, and effect critical changes in public policy, protocols, and responses to sexual violence. To provide quality services to victims/survivors of sexual violence and their significant others, PCAR works in concert with its statewide network of 48 sexual violence centers serving all 67 counties. The centers also work to create public awareness and prevention education within their communities.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
• Call: 877-739-3895
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Resources
Adult Protective Services (APS)
• Call: 1-800-490-8505
APS was enacted to protect adults between the ages of 18 and 59 with a physical or mental disability that limits one or more major life activities. The program is meant to detect, prevent, reduce and eliminate abuse, neglect, exploitation, and abandonment. A report can be made 24/7 on behalf of the adult whether they live in their home or in a care facility such as a nursing facility, group home, hospital, etc.
• Call: 1-800-932-0313
Available 24/7 to receive referrals of suspected child abuse and general child well-being concerns. Each report is handled by a trained specialist who determines the most appropriate course of action.
A Guide To Victim’s Assistance
Learn about the resources available to victims and survivors after abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, or other crimes such as domestic violence, sexual assault, simple and aggravated assault, harassment, theft, and homicide.