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blog home Domestic Violence | Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz - Part 2

Domestic Violence | Pennsylvania Family Law Blog - The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz - Part 2

3 in 4 Domestic Violence Victims Are Unidentified in PA Emergency Room Visits

By Sheryl Rentz on March 25, 2011

A study recently conducted by the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine found that over three quarters of victims of domestic violence, who report the events to law enforcement, receive care in emergency rooms, but the majority of them are not identified during their hospital visit as being domestic violence victims. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Brooke Mueller Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Against Charlie Sheen

By Sheryl Rentz on March 3, 2011

The Los Angeles Times reports that Brooke Mueller, the estranged wife of troubled actor Charlie Sheen, was granted a temporary restraining order against Sheen on Tuesday, March 1. Additionally, as part of the move, the couple’s children were taken from Sheen’s home by a representative for Mueller that night. The order also strips Sheen of contact with his two youngest children, 23-month-old twins Max and Bob, and forbids him from coming within 100 yards of Mueller for 19 days. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania

By Sheryl Rentz on January 31, 2011

A recent article on PennLive.com discusses the progress that has been made to prevent domestic violence in Pennsylvania, but notes that work still remains to be done to put an end to it.

Founded in 1976, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence now has a network of 60 domestic programs that provide free services for victims of domestic violence in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 countries. Services include transportation, emergency shelter, counseling, and transitional housing. The network has helped over 2 million domestic violence victims escape continued abuse and rebuild their lives. In 2010, almost 100,000 men, women, and children were given assistance through the coalition. Read the rest »

Pennsylvania Raises Awareness of Domestic Violence

By Sheryl Rentz on November 3, 2010

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, in a partnership with Verizon Wireless, four Public Broadcast System (PBS) stations hosted community events across the state of Pennsylvania during the month of October. The events were aimed to help promote awareness of the different options and services accessible to at-risk individuals and domestic violence victims. Events will continue into November, but every American should take time, no matter the month, to see what each one of us can do to help bring to light the seriousness of domestic violence.

According to PR Newswire, prominently featured throughout the events was a screening of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary that chronicles the events that led to the death of Amy Homan McGree, whose husband shot and killed her, leaving behind two children. The film was created by Penn State Public Broadcasting and has aired on PBS stations across the United States. The film was shown on WQLN on October 6, on WHYY on October 12, on WLVT on October 21, and will be shown on WQED in Pittsburgh on November 18. For more information about past and future events, please visit http://www.telling.psu.edu/. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Understanding Types of Domestic Violence in Philadelphia Divorce Cases

By Sheryl Rentz on October 13, 2010

Domestic violence, sometimes referred to as domestic abuse, can take many forms and can involve multiple members of one’s family, including children. Domestic violence in Pennsylvania can involve physical abuse, typically in the form of striking another individual’s body; emotional abuse, in the form of verbally assaulting an individual; or sexual abuse. Intimidation tactics, such as economic deprivation and stalking, are also considered forms of domestic violence. Regardless of the form of domestic violence, the abusive behavior should immediately be reported to the proper authorities, and should certainly be considered during all divorce proceedings.

Marriage can be defined as a partnership in which both individuals involved are charged with treating the other in a fair and just manner. In divorce proceedings where one partner claims that they suffered domestic violence abuse at the hands of the other, the abused party may be able to seek benefits to help compensate for the effects of such treatment. Spouses who experience domestic violence of any form have rights, and those rights should under no circumstances be disregarded during the divorce process. Remember the most important thing to do in any domestic violence scenario is to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible to ensure your safety and physical well being. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Philadelphia Police Department to Improve Relationship with Domestic Violence Agencies (Part 2)

By Sheryl Rentz on February 3, 2010

Every day in Philadelphia hundreds of victims of domestic violence turn to one of the four main domestic violence agencies in the city. These include Women Against Abuse, Women in Transition, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, and Lutheran Settlement House. On some days, the number of victims seeking assistance in Pennsylvania is nearly 2,500. You can visit this website for more information: http://www.helpwomen.org/pr/DV08Sum.pdf.

The Philadelphia Police Department is investigating new ways of strengthening their partnerships with the agencies mentioned above by scheduling follow-up visits and making referrals after 911 calls. Help is available to victims, but services are also offered to abusers as well. Most abusers were victims in their lifetime, and counseling and education are available to help break the vicious cycle. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Philadelphia Police to Improve Domestic Violence Reporting (Part 1)

By Sheryl Rentz on January 27, 2010

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia experienced a dramatic surge in domestic murders in 2009. While the overall homicide rate in the city dropped 23%, domestic murders were up by an alarming 67%.

When a Philadelphia police officer responds to a domestic violence call, the officer does not have any information about the history of domestic violence in that home, such as the number of previous domestic abuse calls, or whether someone living there has an active restraining order. If there are no obvious signs of violence, an officer can only leave behind a business card with hotline numbers, but offer little else in the way of help to the victim. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Sheryl Rentz on October 21, 2009

Although domestic violence prevention and awareness is important to be upheld at all times, the month of October offers a chance for survivors and supporters to join forces against acts of domestic violence. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, an estimated 1.3 million women are physically assaulted each year and about four women, and 1 man, are killed every day by their intimate partner.

Domestic violence, whether it is physical or emotional, is reflective of serious abuse that is illegal. Such matters surrounding domestic violence should never be taken lightly, especially when children are involved. Even if the children are not direct victims of domestic violence, living in a household of domestic violence can cause much emotional stress. And just because a child is not being victimized now doesn’t mean that he or she may not be later. It is a frightening thought, but the reality of such a risk is far too great to put to the test. Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Shawn Merriman of San Diego Chargers Accused of Physical Domestic Violence

By Sheryl Rentz on September 16, 2009

No matter how heated a quarrel can become involving a married couple, partners, or two people just allegedly dating, there is never any excuse for things to become physically violent. On September 6, 2009, outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Shawn Merriman, was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment of reality TV celebrity Tila Tequila. Apparently, the well-known football player is being accused of choking, restraining, and throwing Ms. Tequila to the ground when she was trying to leave his house.

It is being argued in Merriman’s defense that Ms. Tequila had been drinking and, according to his attorney, Merriman “essentially was doing what was appropriate under the circumstances in trying to protect the safety of Miss Tequila. There were numerous eyewitnesses that will support his version of the events that transpired at his home.” Read the rest »

Posted in: Domestic Violence

Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Charges against Man

By Sheryl Rentz on June 24, 2009

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with domestic violence after he reportedly slammed a woman’s hand in a door at a local hotel, the Port Clinton News Herald reported. The 52-year-old man was arrested and charged with domestic violence after officers were called to America’s Best Value Inn with reports that two people were fighting and screaming at each other. A woman apparently told police that the man had repeatedly slammed her hand in a door. But the man told police that the woman had hit him in the face and that he may have shut her hand in the door as he was leaving. The man had no visible injuries, but the woman was taken to the hospital for a possible broken hand, officials said. Read the rest »

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