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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

Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of race, religion, age, or gender. While studies show that 23.6 percent of women have reported at least one episode of violence by an intimate-partner in their lifetime, men can also be victims of domestic violence. It is estimated that in every 100 situations involving domestic violence, about 40 cases, or 40 percent, involve violence by a woman against a man.

In a recent study released by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV), while there was a drop in violent crime in 2009, fatalities that were related to domestic violence increased significantly. The study shows that those deaths increased to over 22 percent from 2008, and almost 49 percent from 2007. According to The Patriot News, there were 121 domestic violence-related deaths in 2007; 147 in 2008, and 180 in 2009.

Peg Dierkers, the Coalition’s executive director, believes the bad economy of the U.S. is one of the main reasons for the increase in domestic violence-related fatalities. She notes that control and power are two hallmarks of abuse, and an abuser who loses their job may feel they have less control over their lives, causing them to lash out. Dierkers also notes that Pennsylvania cut the budget for domestic violence services by 2 percent for the 2010 year.

If you or someone you love has been a victim of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, help is available to you. The Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz will fight to protect your rights in a court of law. Our Pennsylvania domestic violence lawyers represent victims of domestic violence across the state. If you are considering divorcing your spouse because of domestic violence, contact our office at 610-645-0100 for a free telephone consultation.

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