Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Prevent Child Abuse America
is one of the nation's leading organization dedicated to preventing the abuse and neglect of our nation's children is proud to unveil its national blue wrist band campaign.

Prevent Child Abuse America is committed to promoting legislation, policies and programs that help to prevent child abuse and neglect, support healthy childhood development, and strengthen families.

The Advocacy Program operates on the national, state and local levels. They monitor critical legislation that impacts children and families; work to obtain and maintain funding for prevention programs; and collaborate with organizations, community leaders and public policy makers.

Prevent Child Abuse America believes they can be most effective for children and families through collaboration. To this end, they work closely with our state chapters and Healthy Families America® sites across the country to address issues on state and local levels. On the national level, their efforts are combined with over thirty professional organizations through the National Child Abuse Coalition. This coalition was formed in 1981 to coordinate federal advocacy efforts on behalf of abused and neglected children and is based in Washington, D.C.

By getting with the band, you are joining a community, a community of people making a statement that child abuse can no longer be accepted in our society and that it can and must be prevented.

Make a difference. Please log on to http://www.preventchildabuse.org/ to purchase your band.

Thank you very much for your support.



Monday, June 27, 2005

Violence Against Women Act Introduced 6/14/2005

Violence Against Women Act of 2005 Introduced in House & SenateJune 14, 2005
Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the Violence Against Women Act of 2005 in the United States Senate on June 8. Representatives Mark Green (R-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) and Hilda Solis (D-CA) introduced it in the House of Representatives a week later. The bill, which was first enacted in 1994 and re-authorized in 2000, will expire in September unless Congress acts.

“These lawmakers did a great service to the nation by introducing a strong Violence Against Women Act (VAWA),” said Family Violence Prevention Fund President Esta Soler. “If it is fully funded, strengthened and passed, this bill can do a tremendous amount to prevent violence of all kinds, and to help victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.”

“The bill we are introducing today provides a comprehensive approach to combating domestic violence,” Senator Biden said. “It stiffens penalties for repeat offenders, provides more money for vital services, and will help battered women get the assistance and support they need. It also focuses on breaking the cycle of violence through education and helping rural victims in under-served areas.”

Co-sponsors of the new Senate bill, S. 1197, are Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Charles Schumer (D-NY). Co-sponsors of the House bill, H.R. 2876, are Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Melissa Hart (R-PA), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Mark Foley (R-FL), Ted Poe (R-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lois Capps (D-CA) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY).

Details of Legislation
VAWA 2005 would continue essential programs and enhance the civil and criminal justice response to violence. It would increase funding to $5 million per year to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and create a new dedicated grant program for sexual assault victims that will strengthen the 1,300 rape crisis centers across the country.

“VAWA has achieved so much over the past ten years to enhance justice and community responses to violence against women,” said Marybeth Carter, President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “We are especially pleased about the new Sexual Assault Services Act, which provides the first funding exclusively focused on support services for victims of sexual assault.”

The bill also includes measures to promote collaboration between domestic violence experts and child welfare agencies, and to strengthen the health care system’s response to family violence with programs to train and educate health care professionals, foster family violence screening for patients, and study the health ramifications of family violence.

It would provide money for programs to support children exposed to violence, for training and curricula development for home visitation programs on domestic violence, and to engage men and youth in preventing violence.

VAWA 2005 includes provisions that would address the needs of victims of trafficking, victims from communities of color, and immigrant and tribal victims. It would support several housing and economic security programs to stop violence and help victims.

Next Steps
“Congress has no higher priority than to ensure that VAWA is re-authorized,” Soler added, “and that the new bill funds supports for children who have been exposed to violence, public education to teach the next generation that violence is wrong, and programs to improve the health system’s response to violence. We urge every advocate and every person who wants to stop violence to let their Senators know that they want to see VAWA 2005 passed quickly.”

More information on VAWA, tools for advocates and more is available at www.endabuse.org/vawa and www.vawa2005.org

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Protection from Abuse

What is a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA)?
It is a civil (non-criminal) Order that can protect a victim from being abused, harassed, threatened, or stalked. A civil procedure will not result in a criminal record for the Defendant.

What is considered “abuse” under the Protection from Abuse Law?
· Physical abuse including: hitting, slapping, punching, pushing, kicking, biting, throwing heavy objects, and threats of bodily injury.
· Sexual abuse including rape, spousal rape, sexual assault
· Assault with a weapon, not limited to a gun or knife
· Fear of serious bodily injury
· False imprisonment or restraint (kept somewhere against your will for a period of time with no safe way to escape)
· Physical or sexual abuse of minor children

Who can get a Protection from Abuse Order?
· Spouses, or persons living together as spouses, whether they live together now or did in the past, including gay and lesbian relationships
· Parents, children and other persons related by blood or marriage including persons who share biological parenthood
· Current or former sexual or intimate partners

What if I am a man who has been abused by a woman?
You are protected by the Protection From Abuse Act if you have been physically abused, harassed, stalked or your life has been threatened.

How will a PFA protect me?
The Judge may order the Defendant (the person who committed the abuse)...
· to refrain from abusing, harassing, threatening and stalking you
· to leave the residence and award you exclusive possession of your residence for the duration of the Order
· to have no contact with you in person, by phone, fax, mail or e-mail
· to have no contact with your children if they have been physically abused or threatened with abuse, and/or an incompetent adult for whom you are a guardian
· to not harass your relatives
The Judge may also...
· grant you temporary custody of the minor children
· order the Defendant to pay financial support to you and the children if he/she has a duty to support
· order the Defendant to give to the police or sheriffs any weapons that were used or threatened to be used
· order the Defendant to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses you had as a result of the abuse
· order the Defendant not to purchase or acquire any other weapons for the duration of the order.

Are there additional protections under the law?
Temporary Order - If there is an immediate and present danger, you may fill out the part of the Petition which asks the Court for a Temporary Order. The Court will decide whether or not to enter a Temporary Order based on the information included in your Petition. You do not need a Temporary Order to qualify for a Final Order. A Temporary Order provides protection between the time a Petition is filed and the time of the Final Order hearing.
Emergency Order - The District Justice may only issue this Order when there is a true emergency and the Court of Common Pleas is closed. The police can assist you in contacting the District Justice on-call. If an Emergency Order is granted, an additional hearing in the Court of Common Pleas will be scheduled within ten days on a Wednesday morning in Doylestown. You are required to attend. If an Emergency Order is not granted, you may still file a Petition through the normal process and request a Temporary Order and a Final Order through the Court of Common Pleas

How long does a PFA last? Can I get it renewed?
Protection From Abuse Orders can last for a maximum of 18 months. Occasionally, a Judge will grant an Order of less than 18 months.
PFAs are not renewable. If further abuse occurs after the Order expires, you must come in to file for another Order.

Who does the Order protect?
The Order protects you, the Petitioner/Plaintiff. It can protect family members if there is a threat of harassment by the Defendant. It can also protect minor children if there has been abuse or threats of abuse to them by the Defendant.
How much does all of this cost?
There is no charge to the Petitioner for any part of the process of filing for Protection from Abuse.
NOTE: If possible, children should NOT come to the courthouse. They are not permitted in the courtroom and the waiting area is usually crowded. It is not a pleasant place for children!

Friday, June 17, 2005

IF SOMEONE TRIES TO HURT YOU

  • Call the police or have someone else call.
  • Grab your emergeny kit, if you can.[Includes clothing, money or checkbook, food, medical card, spare car key, birth certificate, ID, pay stubs, medicine and copies of prescription, phone numbers (of family, friends, domestic violence hotline).]
  • GET OUT! Or go into a locked room.
  • Get medical help and tell them what happened.
  • Have the doctor, nurse or a friend to take pictures; save any evidence of the abuse.
  • Talk to someone about what you can do next [ 24 hr hotline: 1.800.220.8116].

TYPES OF ABUSE

Physical Abuse - Hitting, slapping, shoving, kicking, burning, strangling, not allowing you to leave home, using objects to cause injury (guns, knives, basball bats, canes, walkers, etc.)
Mental Abuse - Threats, telling you what you can or cannot do, name-calling, put-downs, isolating you from family, friends, church or synogogue.
Sexual Abuse - Unwanted touching, forcing sexual acts, refusing to practice safe sex, rape.
Property or Economic Abuse - Stealing or destroying personal belongings, hutring pets, taking money, withholding basic needs such as food and clothing, prescriptions and medical care, assistive devices, not allowing or forcing you to work.