FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christine A. Gilfillan, Director, Domestic Violence Services
Tel: 717.291.5826 ext. 3148 September 21, 2021
OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
EVENTS PLANNED TO RAISE AWARENESS
Lancaster, Pa. – Domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts millions of people each year, and it can be prevented. It requires the collective voice and power of survivors and individuals, families, institutions, and systems – whose stories of strength, support, and resilience add valuable and powerful components to transforming our communities.
While 2020-21 was a year of stunning loss and isolation due to COVID-19, it was also a year of innovation and resilience. Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster, as an essential community service, has continued to serve victims, uninterrupted, by showing up where we are needed – and by embracing technology. Virtual counseling sessions and text hotline conversations have become the norm and provide broader access to services for survivors. Emergency Safe House spaces have been renovated and reconfigured to increase safety. A new Economic Empowerment program was launched.
Last year, DVS, a program of Community Action Partnership, served 1,788 local victims of domestic violence, including 132 children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
“Domestic violence or intimate partner violence continues to be a major public health epidemic in our communities,” Christine Gilfillan, DVS director, said. “The danger level and isolation experienced by victims and survivors, and their barriers to seeking support and services, has been magnified by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across all sectors of our community and economy.
“DVS is committed to providing services, and also to working to eliminate IPV through advocacy and social change efforts.”
To honor the resilience of domestic violence survivors, DVS will present various events with the theme, Survivor to “Thriver”: A Celebration of Resilience, throughout the month of October. Please join us.
Friday, Oct. 1
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month launch media event, 8:30-9:30 a.m., The Ware Center – Owen Salon
- Lancaster County Silent Witness Project, 5-10 p.m., The Ware Center
- DVAM Sidewalk Graffiti, First Friday evening in Lancaster City, at Penn Square
- The Silent Witness Project at The Ware Center
- The Silent Witness Project at the Lancaster County Government Building, 150 N. Queen Street, Lancaster
Saturday, Oct. 9
- DVAM/DVS Table at the Bright Side Opportunities Center Fallfest 2021, Noon-5 p.m.
- The Silent Witness Project at the Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Rd., Ephrata
Wednesday, Oct. 13
- Healthcare Cares about Domestic Violence Day
- The Silent Witness Project at Elizabethtown College
Friday, Oct. 22
- Wear Purple Day
- The Silent Witness Project at Millersville University October 22-26
- The Silent Witness Project at Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology October 27-31
- DVAM/DVS at Lancaster PRIDE, Sunday, Oct. 24 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Clipper Magazine Stadium
- Book Discussion: The Invisible Bruise, Monday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m., Ephrata Public Library
- Purple Carnival at Millersville University, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 6-8 p.m.
- DVS Speaking Witness, a Survivor Speak-Out, VIRTUAL, Wednesday, Oct. 27
- Book Discussion: The Invisible Bruise, Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m., Eastern Lancaster County Library, 11 Chestnut Drive, New Holland, PA
DVAM Yard Signs: There are two designs from which to choose: “Home is Not Safe for Everyone” or “Together We Can End Domestic Violence.” Signs are in English on one side and Spanish on the other and are available for order at caplanc.org/dvam. There is no cost, however, a suggested donation of $25 will help to offset printing costs.
# # #
About Domestic Violence Services
DVS is a catalyst to eliminate domestic violence in Lancaster County through direct service, advocacy, and social change. DVS offers 24/7 hotline and text line, emergency shelter, counseling, children’s programming, legal advocacy and representation, and transitional housing. All services are free of charge and strictly confidential. DVS hosts professional trainings and community education and prevention sessions for schools, businesses and community and faith-based organizations. For more information, visit caplanc.org/DVS.
About Community Action Partnership
The Community Action Partnership is Lancaster County’s largest anti-poverty organization, helping low income families move toward self-sufficiency. CAP’s service profile interrupts inter-generational poverty with programs that support families and individuals at every age and place in life, in the areas of education and child development, health and nutrition, household stability and safety and empowerment. For more information, visit www.caplanc.org.