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Updated April 1, 2000

The Shelter Experience

Every nine ( 9 ) seconds a woman is battered in the United States. The leading cause of injury/death in women aged 15 to 55 years old is domestic violence. The most dangerous call that a police officer will ever answer, is a domestic violence call. Domestic violence is a serious problem throughout the nation, Prior to the early 1970's victims of domestic violence had no where to turn. During this time, there were no laws to protect victims and their families against the terror of domestic violence or sexual violence. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence was established in 1976. This coalition was the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Throughout the years, Pennsylvania continued to be a leader in victim services. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape was established in 1975 and was also the first statewide coalition of its kind. Throughout the years, these coalitions have worked diligently to change legislation, create new laws to protect victims of abuse and to change society's attitudes about violence. There are many different programs that I could tell you about, but for now, I am going to concentrate on the "Shelter Experience". A major component of a domestic violence/comprehensive victim services program is the emergency shelter facility. Shelters come in all shapes and sizes. Many shelters are located in homes, re-furbished office buildings; some are built from the ground up, etc., In Pennsylvania most of our shelters offer the same basic services to victims. Most shelters are run by trained staff who have experience and specialized training to deal with the many different aspects of domestic violence and the many different safety issues that arise. Most shelters are equipped with security systems and other safety devices that arise to make certain that a shelter stay is as safe as possible. Shelter facilities really try to accommodate guests and make them as comfortable as possible. Our shelter (ask Evelyn) is very comfortable and decorated nicely. We provide shelter guests with just about all of the comforts of home. A full kitchen, two bathrooms, a secure play area for children, a family room, play room, laundry facilities, etc. Shelter guests have the opportunity attend support groups; counselors and volunteers are always available to provide crisis counseling, support, options and referrals. Transportation and accompaniment are provided for medical and legal appointments. There are rules that must be followed, but these rules are in place to insure everyone's safety and well being. All shelters in Pennsylvania must have 24-hour hotline and can be accessed at any time of day or night for shelter admittance. Shelters are a safe haven for victims. A place to sort things out, a place of empowerment an options. Shelters can guide you to a life that is violence free! Good luck.... The following telephone numbers can help you find a program/shelter near you. Remember that all calls are confidential and you do not have to give your name.

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape - 1-888-772-PCAR

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic violence - 1-800-932-4632(PA)

National Resource Center (Domestic Violence) - 1-800-537-2238

National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE

Now, you see, last year we were going nuts at the last minute, so we've decide to start early!!!

Please contact Evelyn if you can help :-)

Let's help make it a Merry Christmas for the kids who must spend the holidays in the shelter. A new cap, a warm scarf or mittens, a handmade toy (or store-bought) would make a world of difference to a kid who is having to celebrate the holidays away from home. Any time away from home is difficult, imagine it during Christmas…

We can't do it without you!

Our goal is to make 50 sets of hats/mittens/scarves for the kids for Christmas, because they spend too much time outside not to have the necessities! Please help us meet this goal!

Email Evelyn if you can help!!

Emergency Contacts and Links

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape
National Victims of Crime

Email Evelyn!