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Identity & Community

Pennsylvanians Killed by Domestic Violence Remembered

Domestic violence took center stage this week in Harrisburg when the supporters of victims took to the capitol rotunda for an annual event.

“Domestic violence and sexual assault are just not at all permissible," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.  "How you can harm a family member?”

The governor and First Lady Susan Corbett joined The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) to memorialize the more than 100 Pennsylvanians who lost their lives to abuse last year.

The event was meant to send a clear message, “No More.” 

Every victim's name was read aloud during the hour long ceremony, which was just one of the many scheduled throughout the state this month in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

State Senator Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) says the public needs to know this is a serious crime and abusers will be punished.

“It’s important for events like this that we raise awareness so that future perpetrators are aware of the consequence on them if they commit a crime of domestic violence,” said Teplitz.

PCADV is working with local police departments to implement a new protocol known as the Lethality Assessment Program. The program employs innovative strategies to prevent domestic violence homicides and serious injuries.  Versions of it have been adopted in other states.

The protocol is used as a screening tool for investigative officers to use at domestic violence scenes to identify victims who are at a heightened risk of being killed.

Pennsylvania ranked fifth nationally in number of calls made to the national domestic violence hotline in the first half of 2014.  PA is the fifth most populous state.

The event and the Lethality Assessment Program also works with victims to help break the cycle of violence.

“I think there is also an opportunity to make people who are victims of domestic violence aware that there are resources out there they can be helped-- organizations like this one are providing an escape,” said Susan Corbett.