News & Events

Spotlight on Alle-Kiski HOPE Center, Inc.

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Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center Executive Director Michelle L. Gibb talks about HOPE’s swift response for victims of domestic violence who can be less safe in their homes during the lockdown and how a concerned neighbor was able to get help. “In the midst of a global pandemic and sweeping stay-at-home orders, HOPE realized very quickly that staying at home offers no refuge for victims of domestic violence who are less safe in their own homes than almost anywhere else. Among the myriad tasks to “re-envision” HOPE’s service-delivery system, we recognized access to HOPE for victims emerged as a clear priority. How can victims contact us? …

Spotlight on Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania

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Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania (DVSSP) shares a heartwarming story about a local high school student who’s bringing comfort to survivors through her Pillows for Peace initiative. “One of DVSSP’s most dedicated volunteers came through with another donation to bring comfort to domestic violence survivors and their children during this critical time. Nina Thompson, a Bentworth High School student, collects pillows and pillowcases, as well as toiletries, toys, bath towels, wash cloths, and other items for residents of DVSSP’s safe houses through her ‘Pillows for Peace’ initiative. The items provide additional comfort for residents who are able to receive their own, new pillowcase and …

Spotlight on Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

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With intimate partner violence on the rise and stay-at-home orders still in place, it has become more necessary than ever to add new ways in which survivors can reach out for help. To address this growing need, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has debuted new ways to reach out for help: a text line and an online chat feature, in addition to its existing 24-Hour Hotline. 24-Hour Hotline:  412-687-8005 If someone is not able to talk on the phone, they can: Text the number (240) 249-7867 and a WC&S Advocate will be standing by to assist. Access the online chat by visiting the WC&S website, and clicking …

Giant Eagle teams up with local agencies to reach survivors during stay-at-home orders

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Local agencies are working to provide safety and hope to those affected by intimate partner violence (IPV) during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address the new barriers the pandemic has created for survivors seeking help, Giant Eagle has teamed up with Women’s Center & Shelter, Crisis Center North and the Alle-Kiski Area HOPE Center to reach survivors during stay-at-home orders. Beginning this week, 12,600 postcards (PDFs) with contact information for all three centers have been placed in 42 Giant Eagle locations in Allegheny County. The postcards are available at the end of every register in each grocery store. They offer a variety of options for intimate partner violence …

Spotlight on HAVIN

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HAVIN Executive Director Jo Ellen Bowman, Armstrong County, talks about the exceptional response and collaboration with its sister programs in Allegheny County amid the pandemic  – in fact, they have been shining stars in this process! “For HAVIN – Helping All Victims In Need – we continually work with our shelter guests to help them move forward and live a life free from violence, which often includes permanent housing. With concerns about communal living with Covid-19, we feel more pressured to limit the number of people in our emergency shelter and help them transition out of shelter. We have had an exceptional response working with sister programs in …

Spotlight on Crisis Center North

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Crisis Center North In our spotlight series, Grace Coleman, executive director, shares a story of a remarkable survivor who was on her way to financial independence before the Covid-19 outbreak. “Crisis Center North (CCN) is working with clients in new, innovative ways to keep them safe and meet their needs during the pandemic. During the Covid-19 outbreak, CCN’s mobile counseling unit has been helping a remarkable survivor who has worked to get herself through college after spending two years in transitional housing. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, she was on her way to financial independence and security for the first time, having just found a permanent …

Spotlight on Alice Paul House

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Alice Paul House In our spotlight series, Executive Director Audia Boyles talks about serving the community and the heightened response during the pandemic. “As we reach the fifth week of the stay home order, has anyone thought about the victims of violence that are unable to escape the daily abuse? The Covid-19 pandemic has touched us all in one way or another. With schools closed, and many individuals working from home, we have a chance to spend more time with our families and pets. However, for many Americans, home is one of the most dangerous places to be. Alice Paul House, located in Indiana County, …

Spotlight Series – Stories from the Field

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As providers of essential life-sustaining services, domestic violence programs across the region are open and have swiftly evolved their operations as part of a community-wide response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Each week, we’ll share stories from the field and illustrate how advocates continue to serve on the front lines to help keep victims safe and prevent abuse. Alice Paul House Crisis Center North HAVIN Giant Eagle teams up with local agencies Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania Alle-Kiski HOPE Center, Inc.

Crisis Center North invites domestic violence victims to text and chat if it’s not safe to call for help

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Crisis Center North recently launched a new text message/online chat service so victims of domestic violence can discreetly and quickly connect with an expert to ask for help and support. This service can be a lifeline when a call to the agency’s 24/7 helpline is not an option. Many domestic violence programs are worried about the worldwide increase in violence and abuse. They also know that as people shelter in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, domestic violence victims can be trapped in their homes with an abusive partner who further isolates them from family and friends. In Pittsburgh’s North Hills community, domestic violence …

With surge in domestic violence during pandemic, local agencies call on community to seek help for victims

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With reports of a worldwide surge in domestic violence, the United Nations is calling for urgent action for governments to put women’s safety first as part of their response to the pandemic. Locally, domestic violence agencies and advocates want the public to know that help is available. As essential service providers, agencies and shelters across southwestern Pennsylvania are open. While complying with social distancing measures, they are working to both reach and support victims of abuse. These agencies offer 24-hour helplines to provide support and information, safety planning, assistance with filing Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders, emergency safe housing, and resources for families and individuals. They …

Help is available 24/7 to support victims of abuse

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As we all do our part to stay in our homes and keep our families, workplaces and communities safe, agency partners are working 24/7 to reach and support survivors. This is a scary time for many families since abuse can escalate behind closed doors. It’s more important now than ever to promote the free and confidential helplines and online resources that are available for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. You can help. If you suspect that someone you know is in danger, reach out for free, confidential support 24 hours a day: o   For a list of resources in the 10-county area, see: southwestpasaysnomore.org/help/ o   The RUSafe app can assess …

Southwest PA Says No More kicks off NO MORE Week at 2020 annual meeting

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Southwest Pa Says No More partners and supporters showed their teal pride, kicking off NO MORE Week at the 2020 annual meeting in March. The group shared highlights of local prevention work and the collaboration of nearly 25 partner agencies in creating a world free from domestic violence and sexual assault from the 2019-20 Year in Review and CBIM Yearbook. In the keynote, Emily F. Rothman discussed the impact of explicit media on adolescent relationships and her experience as a researcher and porn literacy practitioner. Dr. Rothman is the co-author of “The Truth About Pornography: A Curriculum To Reduce Dating and Sexual Violence,” the forthcoming …

Presenting Jodi Kantor, Pulitzer prize-winning author of She Said (rescheduled)

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This event has been rescheduled. If we cannot gather in person according to the CDC’s guidelines, Jodi Kantor will record a virtual event video for everyone to watch at home. If we are able to gather in person we will also livestream the lecture for all ticket holders who do not wish to come to the lecture hall. If you have any questions please email us at info@pittsburghlectures.org. Monday, November 30, 2020 – 7 p.m. – Carnegie Library Lecture Hall BUY TICKETS Southwest PA Says No More in partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Presents: JODI KANTOR Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who broke the Harvey Weinstein story …

SWPA Says No More to Report on Prevention Efforts; Features Keynote on Pornography, Teens and Dating Violence at 2020 Annual Meeting

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Southwest Pa Says No More will show its teal pride leading up to NO MORE Week with its annual meeting and report to the community on Wednesday, March 4. The 2020 program will highlight local prevention work and further collaboration with more than 25 partner agencies in creating a world free from domestic violence and sexual assault. Keynote speaker Emily Rothman will discuss the impact of sexually explicit media on adolescent relationships and her experiences as a researcher and porn literacy practitioner. Dr. Rothman is the co-author of “The Truth About Pornography: A Curriculum To Reduce Dating and Sexual Violence,” the forthcoming book “Pornography and …

Brian Nolte – Carrick High School

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As a first-year head coach of the Carrick High School football team, Coach Brian Nolte recognized he had to do something different to change the course of the program. His first step in changing the culture was building trust and consistency. He says Coaching Boys Into Men contributed to that effort, “This program allows for the players to come together as a part of something that’s bigger than themselves and to build trust between players and coaches. CBIM creates a more comfortable atmosphere for the players to be vulnerable and open about their feelings, experiences, and attitude toward different sensitive topics.” When asked what advice he’d give to a coach who is …

If there ever was a silver bullet… it might look like this

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By Kristy Trautmann I was working at a rape crisis center in the early 2000s when the field of prevention was in its infancy. I knew in my bones that the risk reduction strategies being sold to women (go out in groups, carry your keys, look in the backseat before you get into a car) had almost no chance of preventing someone from being raped. Most assaults take place at home, and most perpetrators are known (acquaintances, friends, or partners) not strangers. It was a new concept then to enlist men as allies in preventing violence against women. And, frankly, I thought it was a …

Dan DeRose – Penn Hills High School

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Dan DeRose has been coaching for more than 30 years and spent most of his time on the college level, where he saw a lot of young men struggle in their relationships with women. Three years ago, he partnered with Pittsburgh Action Against Rape to implement Coaching Boys Into Men with the Penn Hills Basketball team. His hope is, with the right counseling and instruction, he can help his athletes become better educated and not make the same mistakes. Coach DeRose recognizes that coaches have special relationships with players. “We carry the power and responsibility to instill the qualities and characteristics in our players that …

George Messich – Mapletown High School

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George Messich, head football coach at Mapletown High School, knows the role a coach can play in their athletes’ lives. He has been coaching for nearly 40 years. “Coaches can have more of an influence than other school personnel or even parents,” he says. “As a coach, I am an authority figure, but I also have a very close relationship with my players.” The coach is in his third season implementing Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM), a program that empowers student athletes to be positive role models and teaches life lessons they can carry into adulthood. In a series of conversations, players learn about healthy, …

What works in Preventing Gender Violence? Researchers and Practitioners Dialogue held Nov. 7

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The field of prevention is continuing to evolve. Practitioners, educators, and advocates are in the community every day, working to prevent sexual harassment, abuse, and relationship violence before it happens and to reach the most vulnerable victims who are least likely to get help. On Nov. 7, 2019, researchers from the division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh, and Seton Hill University presented on emerging research findings. They invited a dialogue about the meaning of the data and its implications for shaping ongoing prevention efforts. More than 100 professionals engaged in efforts to break the cycle of violence and prevent …

Daniel Knause – Chartiers Valley High School

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Chartiers Valley High School’s head varsity football coach Daniel Knause recognizes athletics is a platform where coaches can positively influence young men and women beyond the field. Coach Knause believes in character building, and when he was introduced to Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) by Bernie Colbert, a prevention educator from Pittsburgh Action Against Rape, he knew the program would be beneficial to his football team. “CBIM has helped us build better men.” When asked what his hope is for the athletes who participate in CBIM, Coach Knause stated, “We hope they become caring individuals who treat the opposite sex with dignity and respect.” Coach …