COVID-19 DVS Emergency Plan
Domestic Violence Services (DVS), a program of the Community Action Partnership, is closely monitoring all new updates concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Our highest priority is to safeguard the health and safety of domestic violence victims and survivors and our staff members. To help protect both the public health and the health of the DVS Team, we have enacted several temporary changes.
While we have reduced our on-site staffing to a minimum, we continue to provide free, confidential services to victims and survivors of domestic violence 24 hours per day. We are limiting the people who enter our building to residents, staff and emergency personnel if needed.
Victims seeking our crisis and safety-planning services should call our 24-hour Hotline at (717) 299-1249.
Beginning April 3, victims may text SAFE to 61222 to connect directly to an advocate.
Safe House or emergency shelter services are still available for victims fleeing dangerous intimate partner violence situations. Victims seeking shelter must contact DVS directly via the hotline or text line (text line beginning 4/3). Law enforcement may use the hotline or LAP process to make the contact. An individual in immediate danger should call 911.
All support groups and in-person community counseling sessions are canceled until further notice. Telephone counseling is available, and we will offer remote counseling via a web-based platform as soon as we are able. For now, please call our front desk at (717) 299-9677 to arrange to speak with a counselor over the phone.
Protection From Abuse orders are still available for victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Legal Center (DVLC) is available to assist individuals with information, options, and resources via telephone M-F from 8:30am – 5:00pm at (717) 291-5826. If you are unable to reach a staff person directly, please leave a message and your call will be returned ASAP. Our legal advocate is available in the courthouse to assist with PFAs on a limited basis until further notice. On weekends call the DVS 24-Hour hotline to be connected to the on-call Legal Advocate for assistance.
All public events, education, and prevention sessions with which DVS was scheduled to be involved are cancelled at this time.
Please direct any questions to Christine Gilfillan, DVS Director at CGilfillan@caplanc.org. With questions specific to information about domestic violence, events, outreach, and volunteers, email Angela Keen, Community Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator at AKeen@caplanc.org.
What can the public do to help DVS and victims of domestic violence?
- Follow the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County and Domestic Violence Services (DVS) Facebook pages, and share information about the availability of our services. Please be aware that victims of domestic violence may be trapped at home with their abusers, and that their situations may become worse. Although our capacity is limited, we may be able to help.
- DVS is temporarily not accepting donations of goods. However, our supporters may help by providing a prepared meal for the Safe House residents and staff. Visit CAPLanc.org and click DONATE.
- Designate your donation of $75 (pizza or sandwiches) or $150 (full meal) to DVS and type Safe House meal in the notes. We will order the food based on your donation. This is a huge help to our residents and staff for several reasons – it means less cleaning and disinfecting to be done in the kitchen, it helps because only one family can be in the kitchen at a time due to safe distancing – and, it helps local restaurants!
- General donations to support our direct services are welcome. Visit CAPLanc.org, click DONATE on the right side of the home page, and designate DVS.
We are very grateful to the community for your support and we ask for your continued support during these challenging times. This is a fluid situation and we will continue keep you updated through traditional media, CAP and DVS social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter), and other communication channels. Donations to support our services are welcome. Visit CapLanc.org.
About Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster County
Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County, a program of the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, is a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence through direct service, advocacy, and social change. Over the past forty-three years, 75,593 survivors of abuse have received 379,513 nights of shelter and 572,050 hours of counseling, among other supportive services. DVS hosts regular community education and prevention sessions for many agencies, schools and faith-based organizations. For more information, visit CAPLanc.org/DVS.