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Domestic Violence | Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz

Montgomery County Domestic Violence Warrant Sweep Results in Multiple Arrests

By Sheryl Rentz on November 12, 2015

It takes a lot of courage for victims of domestic violence to notify the police. When victims of battery, rape, stalking, assault, and unlawful restraint contact the police, they expect to be protected from their abuser. But, it’s common for dangerous people to continue to break the terms of their probation and restraining orders. To deter this type of illegal activity and punish those who break the law, local police officers took part in Annual National Family Violence Apprehension Detail.

For the 13th year in a row, the nationwide sweep of law enforcement agencies worked to raise awareness for domestic violence issues. Sheriff’s deputies in Montgomery County arrested 17 offenders of domestic violence. According to a report in the Montgomeryville-Lansdale Patch, the individuals were arrested for violations including probation violations, possession of a controlled substance, theft by unlawful taking, simple assault, resisting arrest, and failure to appear in court. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Pennsylvania Woman Fakes Death to Avoid Being Killed by Boyfriend

By Sheryl Rentz on August 24, 2015

shadow of a hand on the floor

On August 21, a Bethlehem Pennsylvania woman was the victim of extreme domestic violence. The young woman received a text message from a male friend, which enraged her 25 year old boyfriend. “See what you made me do? Now I’m going to have to kill (you),” he allegedly said. He grabbed her throat and repeatedly punched her in the face. He then shoved a rag down her throat and threw her down a flight of basement stairs. The woman faked a fatal seizure to avoid further beating, and was able to crawl up the stairs to call police the next morning. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Pennsylvania Father Faces Series of Charges after Fleeing with 2-Week-Old Son

By Sheryl Rentz on July 30, 2013 recently reported that a 32-year-old Pittsburgh man was arrested and jailed after jumping out of a second-floor window with his two-week-old son. The police had attempted to serve the man with an emergency protection-from-abuse order from the infant’s mother at her apartment when he fled with the baby. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Signs of a Controlling Spouse

By Sheryl Rentz on July 24, 2013

According to a poll commissioned by, about 36 percent of Americans said they divorced in order to escape relationships that had become verbally or physically abusive. Domestic violence can take many forms and often develops subtly over a period of time. CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Sheryl Cates says that patterns of coercive control that one person exercises over another fall under the umbrella of domestic abuse, such as threats and intimidation, physical harm, or economic deprivation.

In many cases, victims of abuse are unaware that they are involved in an unhealthy, and sometimes dangerous, relationship until the abuser has taken over his or her life. Whether dating or years into a marriage, it’s important to identify the warning signs and know when it’s time to escape a toxic situation.

Read the rest »

Addendum to Natalie Wood’s Autopsy Report—Bruises May Have Occurred before She Entered the Water

By Sheryl Rentz on January 22, 2013

Although many unanswered questions remain, more details were recently revealed surrounding actress Natalie Wood’s death. As reported by the Associated Press and published in The Philadelphia Inquirer on January 15, 2013, a report just released reveals that Natalie Wood’s death certificate was amended to deal with questions about bruises on her upper body.

In a ten-page addendum to the actress’ autopsy, officials from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office say that some of the bruises on Natalie Wood’s body may have been put there prior to her entering into the water and drowning. Coroner’s officials could only conclude that Ms. Wood “drowned under undetermined circumstances.” Officials noted in the amendment that Wood had no history of attempting suicide, did not leave a suicide note, and did not have on a life jacket. Read the rest »

Officials and Advocates Hold Ceremony in Montgomery County in Honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Sheryl Rentz on October 11, 2012

First observed in October of 1987, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which was created to raise awareness of the “silent epidemic” of domestic violence and promote prevention of this significant national problem. Nationally, domestic violence affects one in four women, and an estimated 91,000 Pennsylvanians were affected by domestic violence in 2011.

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, victim’s advocates, law enforcement, and court officials gathered recently in Montgomery County to support survivors and honor those who have shared the expertise to help victims. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Verizon Donates $590,000 to PA Domestic Violence Agencies

By Sheryl Rentz on December 6, 2011

In the continuous fight against domestic violence, Verizon announced this week that it will be donating more than $590,000 to aid Pennsylvania domestic violence shelters. The funding for this generous donation comes from the Verizon Foundation and the nationally recognized HopeLine program, which provides refurbished cellular phones and airtime to nonprofit groups for use by domestic violence survivors.

The aid is certainly coming at an opportune time; Pennsylvania shelters have unfortunately seen a spike in domestic violence calls, which they attribute to the pressures of an ailing economy. Domestic violence agencies in the state have also been struggling with waiting lists at shelters and extended stays, and have reported an increase in elder abuse, teen dating violence, and increased calls for help to crisis hotlines. Statewide, more than 40 domestic violence organizations are presently being supported by Verizon. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

October Marks 24th Annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Sheryl Rentz on October 7, 2011

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has played an important role in encouraging battered women and children to seek the support and guidance they need to free themselves from abuse. Ending violence towards women and children is the goal of the National Coalition Against Violence (NCADV).

Domestic violence, which is also referred to as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), is the willful physical assault, intimidation, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive tactics and behaviors committed against an intimate partner. The effects of domestic violence include psychological and emotional trauma, physical injury, and even death. Unfortunately, according to the NCADV, many domestic violence cases go unreported, which is why it is important, as a community, to reach out to those who are afraid to find the support they deserve. Here are a few suggestions of what you can do in your community for DVAM: Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Former Major League Baseball Slugger Facing Criminal Prosecution on Charges of Domestic Violence

By Sheryl Rentz on September 30, 2011

Manny Ramirez, a former World Series MVP who retired this year after allegations of substance abuse, is facing domestic violence charges for allegedly slapping his wife during an argument, according to The Huffington Post. The former baseball star could be sentenced to up to one year in jail for misdemeanor domestic battery charges.

Domestic violence is against the law, whether it involves physical or emotional abuse, and whether it is directed at a spouse or a child. Ramirez was arrested after his wife called 911, stating that she had been hit in the face and head, which now had a bump, during an argument with her husband. She made the call for fear that the violence would escalate. After determining that she was safe from further harm, the dispatcher sent law enforcement to the home. It is unknown whether there have been previous incidents of domestic violence. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Guidelines to Teach Students About Dating Abuse and Domestic Violence in Development for Pennsylvania Schools

By Sheryl Rentz on July 28, 2011

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is developing a set of guidelines to help schools in the state teach students, teachers, and parents to recognize the signs of teen dating abuse and domestic violence and how to appropriately respond should such abuse and/or violence occur.

According to the article, a draft of the education and response guidelines were released by the PDE recently. While adopting the recommendations are not yet mandatory for schools in Pennsylvania, many hope schools will adopt them regardless. Read the rest »

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