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Showing posts from January, 2016

Prison Rape Elimination Act

A few weeks ago, I found myself filled with remorse over a particular call for advocacy that came in at the rape crisis center where I work.  As a prevention education specialist, my main job is to instruct students on ways to stay safe in relationship to other people.  However, all employees are trained to provide on-call crisis services on a rotation schedule, and it was my week. Prison rape was an issue that I had never had an opportunity to address before in my professional life.  Bowled over by the depths of despair, humiliation, and physical damage that I witnessed, I realized that this was an issue I could no longer ignore.  I thought of the girls and boys in my elementary school programs.  As their faces spun in my mind, I realized that according to statistics, it is likely that some of these students will end up in prison.  Scientific studies show that abused children, bullied children, as well as kids who are bullies – all have a much higher risk of ending up on the wrong si…

Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

January is National Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month. Here at Transitions, we are involved in several aspects of working with this population. We offer services to survivors of human trafficking, provide education and outreach to the local schools and the community, and also participate in the Pennsylvania Alliance Against Trafficking in Humans (PAATH). These are just some of what we do with regard to human trafficking in this area of service.
PAATH was formed as a work group, following the passage of Act 105 in the fall of 2014. This act significantly strengthened Pennsylvania’s legislation regarding human trafficking. From this statewide work group, three main committees were formed: the outreach and community awareness committee, the training committee, and the direct services committee.
I personally co-represent Transitions on PAATH’s Direct Services Committee. This committee meets regularly and works to develop best practices for working with this population. Cu…

STOP Grant Awarded to Union and Snyder Counties

Transitions, the Comprehensive Crime Victim Services Center serving Union, Snyder and Northumberland Counties, is pleased to announce that the PA Coalition on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) has awarded STOP grants (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors Grants) to Snyder and Union CountiesThe STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, whose source is the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), enhances the capacity of local communities to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women and to develop and strengthen victim services in cases involving violent crimes against women.  
Through this grant, over the next three years, a total of $750,000, largely for prosecution and law enforcement, will be provided to Snyder and Union Counties.  $125,000 each year will be funded for each county. The program provides 25 percent for law enforcement, 25 percent for prosecutors and 50 perce…

Medical Advocacy Project

The purpose of the Medical Advocacy Program is to support the development, implementation or enhancement of domestic violence medical advocacy projects in the Commonwealth which would assist in the implementation of domestic violence policies and procedures as well as provide training for health care workers to improve hospital, health center and clinic response to domestic violence victims seeking medical treatment.
In FY 2015-2016, Transitions of PA was awarded this grant from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).  Our work plan includes the development and implementation of training to medical professionals in Union, Snyder and Northumberland Counties on the topics of domestic violence/interpersonal violence, human trafficking and traumatic brain injury.  Domestic violence victims who present to a medical facility must, first and foremost, be identified.  Universal screening procedures have been implemented at local medical facilities and hospitals; however…