Domestic violence: safety and support


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October 1, 2012 — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In some ways since the first women’s shelters of the 1970s, we’ve gained ground in our efforts to assist victims of this crime of power and control. Still, there’s plenty of work to do. Research suggests that nearly 25 percent of women will experience some sort of abuse in an intimate relationship and that 10 percent of those women will suffer from severe abuse – and we know so little about domestic violence against men or within the sanctity of LGBT relationships. What we do know is complex economic, emotional, cultural, and societal factors can keep victims in violent situations.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb hosts conversations about domestic violence with those familiar with the stories of victims and perpetrators. We’ll discuss issues of safety and support for victims — and assistance for abusers — with guests: Eda Kauffman, Molly Callahan, Ujwala Dixit, Paul Bukovek, and Kevin Molnar.

Eda Kauffman, LSW, is the clinical director at Women Against Abuse. Molly Callahan, Esq., is the legal center director at Women Against Abuse. Dr. Ujwala Dixit is a psychiatrist with a private practice in Media, Pa. She’s president of the volunteer group SEWAA, Service and Education for Women Against Abuse which provides support and assistance for women, primarily of South Asian origin. She is also the founder and director of Healthy Minds. Paul Bukovek, LCSW is the director of Menergy, a counseling center for men, a practice that specializes in the treatment of perpetrators of domestic abuse. Kevin Molnar started a domestic abuse awareness campaign for gay males called the Boys will be Boys because of his own experience with domestic violence.

  • LSH Bilingual Domestic Violence Program: Based in the Fishtown area of Philadelphia, just to the north of Northern Liberties and to the east of North Philly, the BDVP is the oldest domestic violence program providing counseling and support for English- and Spanish-speaking women in Philadelphia. In addition to its counseling and support work, the BDVP maintains two 24-hour-a-day hotlines, 215-739-9999 (English) and 215-235-9992 (Spanish).
  • Congreso Latina Domestic Violence Program: The Latina Domestic Violence Program provides counseling and support for English- and Spanish-speaking women with an emphasis on the Philadelphia Latino communities, primarily in North Philadelphia. The LDVP’s bilingual (English and Spanish) 24-hour hotline can by reached at 215-291-8742.
  • Abused Women’s Hotline: 215-885-5020
  • Women in Transition: With offices in Center City, WIT provides counseling and support services for women, and is a city-wide leader in advocacy for victims of domestic violence. WIT’s hotline number is 215-751-1111.
  • Women Against Abuse: WAA runs a legal center and the only shelter for abused women in the city of Philadelphia. To reach WAA’s legal center, call 215-686-7082. For their 24-hour hotline and shelter services, call 215-386-7777.

Bucks County:

  • A Woman’s Place: A Woman’s Place serves Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Services include 24-hour hotline crisis counseling, temporary shelter, support groups, court accompaniment and advocacy, community education, training, systems advocacy and volunteer opportunities. A Woman’s Place can be reached at 800-220-8116.

Delaware County:

  • Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County (DAP): DAP provides Delaware County, Pennsylvania with a 24-hour hotline, counseling and legal services, emergency shelter and community education. DAP’s hotline number is 610-565-4590.
  • Service and Education for Women Against Abuse (SEWAA): SEWAA provides support and assistance for women, primarily of South Asian origin (from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Pakistan), who are abandoned, harassed racially or sexually, or are victims of domestic violence. (215) 62-SEWAA

Montgomery County:

  • Laurel House: Laurel House serves Montgomery County, Pennsylvania with a 24-hour hotline, transitional housing, emergency shelter, services for children, preventative education and training. Laurel House can be reached at 800-642-3150.
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence: PCADV is the state-wide coordinating agency for domestic violence work in Pennsylvania. PCADV also coordinates the Pennsylvania Batterers Interventions Services (BIS) Network, which addresses issues of standards for programs working with abusive men. 800-932-4632

Local programs focused on family violence and gender-based violence prevention:

  • Institute for Safe Families: ISF provides community training and education in the Philadelphia area with a focus on family violence. In addition, ISF coordinates coalitions of health professionals, community-based and neighborhood organizations around issues related to community health and family violence. The number to reach ISF is 215-843-2046.
  • Women Organized Against Rape: WOAR provides sexual assault counseling, support groups and advocacy services for English- and Spanish-speaking victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse, as well as community education and training about sexual violence and coercion. WOAR’s 24-hour crisis counseling hotline can be reached at 215-985-3333.
  • Women’s Anti-Violence Education (WAVE): Philadelphia-based organization that provides low-cost training for women and girls in assertiveness and self-defense against abuse and assault. WAVE can be reached at 215-241-5720.
  • The Sabbath of Domestic Peace: The Sabbath of Domestic Peace is an interdisciplinary, interfaith coalition to encourage and support the involvement of religious leaders and congregations in the greater Philadelphia area in their efforts to prevent and reduce domestic violence by raising awareness and providing educational and resource materials.
  • Side by Side: A Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) that works with the Cherry Hill and Haddonfield Police departments and the Camden County Women’s Center to provide information on domestic violence, community resources, safety planning, and strong and caring support for victims of domestic violence. Contact (856) 432-8869.
  • Domestic Violence Outreach Services: A partnership with the Camden County Women’s Center and Volunteers of America. Emergency shelter and outreach. 24-hour hotline: 856-227-1234 and Domestic Violence Counselors: 856-963-5668
  • Philadelphia Lesbian & Gay Task Force: 215-772-2000
  • Gay Men Domestic Violence Project: 24-Hour Emergency Hotline: 1-800-832-1901
  • Philadelphia Legal Assistance: 215-981-3800
  • Women Against Abuse Hotline: 1(866)723-3014
  • Women’s Law Project: 215-928-9801
  • Equality Advocates Pennsylvania: 215-731-1447 ext. 15
  • Creative Health Services Batterers Treatment Program – Project SAFE: 1-610-970-6590
  • Menergy: 1-215-242-2235
  • Men’s Resource Center: 215-564-0488

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