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About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior by which an individual gains or maintains power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological. Any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure, or wound someone are abusive. Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together, or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

For more information about domestic violence, click here.


If you are in danger, use a safer computer at the library or a friend’s home that someone abusive does not have direct or remote (hacking) access to.

Does the person you love...

  • “Track” all of your time?
  • Constantly accuse you of being unfaithful?
  • Discourage your relationships with family and friends?
  • Prevent you from working or attending school?
  • Criticize you for the little things?
  • Anger easily when drinking or using drugs?
  • Control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
  • Humiliate you in front of others?
  • Destroy personal property or sentimental items?
  • Hit, punch, slap, kick, or bite you or your children?
  • Threaten to hurt you, your family, or your pets?
  • Use or threaten to use a weapon against you?
  • Force you to have sex against your will?

If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” or know someone in an abusive relationship, contact the Women’s Services Hotline, 888-881-0189 to talk with a counselor/advocate.

Safety Planning

Your safety is the most important thing.  Below are tips to help keep you safe:
  • During an argument, or if you feel tension building, avoid areas in your home where weapons might be available – the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or workshops.
  • If there are weapons in your household such as firearms – lock them up!
  • Know where there is a safe exit from your home – a window, elevator, or stairwell.
  • Discuss the situation with a trusted neighbor if you can. Ask them to call 911 if they hear a disturbance. Find a code word to use with them if you need the police.
  • Always keep a packed bag ready.
  • Know where you will go to be safe if you have to leave, even if you don’t really think you need to.

Leaving an Abusive Relationship? Consider the following:

  • Several places you can go to if you leave your home.
  • People who might help you if you left.
  • People who will keep a bag for you.
  • People who might lend you money. 
  • Making plans for your pet.
  • Getting your own cell phone.
  • Opening a bank account or getting a credit card in your name.
  • How you might leave. Try doing things that get you out of the house – taking out the trash or walking the family pet.
  • Putting together a bag of things you use every day. Hide it where it is easy for you to get.
  • Practice how you would leave and how you could take your children with you safely.

If Possible, Take the Following Items with You:

  • Money
  • Keys to car, house, work
  • Medications
  • Birth certificates
  • Social security cards
  • School and medical records
  • Bankbooks, credit cards
  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration
  • Green cards, work permits
  • Divorce papers and/or custody orders

About Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is a term meant to include any type of unwanted sexual contact. This can include words and actions of a sexual nature including, but not limited to:

  • Rape

  • Sexual Assault
  • Incest
  • Child sexual assault
  • Date and acquaintance rape
  • Grabbing or groping
  • Sexting without permission
  • Ritual abuse
  • Commercial sexual exploitation (i.e. prostitution)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual or anti-LGBTQ bullying
  • Exposure and voyeurism
  • Forced participation in the production of pornography

Some forms of sexual violence are illegal, such as rape and incest. Others are not illegal, such as sexist and sexually violent jokes, street harassment and catcalling, but this does not make them any less threatening or harmful to the person victimized.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, geography, ability, appearance, sexual orientation, and gender identity and has a tremendous impact on everyone – the survivor, their families, significant others, and their community.

  • Force
  • Threats
  • Manipulation
  • Coercion to commit sexual violence

There is a social context that surrounds sexual violence.

Social norms that contribute to the occurrence of sexual violence condone:

  • Violence
  • Using power over others
  • Traditional constructs of masculinity
  • The subjugation of women (Silence about violence and abuse)

Oppression in all of its forms is among the root causes of sexual violence. Sexual violence is preventable through collaborations of community members at multiple levels of society—in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith settings, workplaces, and other settings. We all play a role in preventing sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, safety, equality, and helping others.

Victim's Rights

Victims of crime are impacted in many ways including physical injury, emotional pain and suffering, and financial loss.  Providing a voice for victims in the criminal/ juvenile justice process and connecting them with meaningful advocacy and services can be an important part of the healing process, allowing them to transcend their victimization.  The Crime Victims Act provides victims of crime the following rights listed below. Local agencies receive funding to ensure these rights and services are delivered.  Based on the individual’s needs and preferences, services may be provided by governmental agencies such as the county victim/ witness offices, local non-profit organizations such as local rape crisis and domestic violence centers, legal service agencies, agencies serving homicide survivors and children’s advocacy centers.  

Victims of crime have the following rights:

  • To be provided with basic information on available services;
  • To be told about certain significant actions within the justice pertaining to the victims’ case. This includes the granting or denial of bail to an adult offender, the detention or release of a juvenile, the filing of a petition alleging delinquency, and the escape and subsequent apprehension of an adult prior to trial or a juvenile prior to adjudication;
  • To receive information of the availability of crime victim’s compensation;
  • To be notified of the Address Confidentiality Program if eligible to apply;
  • To not be excluded from a criminal proceeding unless the court, based on the record before it, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at the proceeding.
  • To offer comment regarding a defendant’s bail conditions at the time bail conditions are imposed or at any subsequent proceeding where bail conditions may be modified.
  • To be accompanied at all proceedings by a family member, a victim advocate or other support person;
  • To give prior comment on the sentencing decision regarding an adult offender or the disposition of a delinquent child;
  • To receive help in preparing an oral and/or written victim impact statement detailing the physical, psychological and economic effects of the crime, which will be considered by the courts;
  • To be restored as one was before the crime as much as possible, through restitution, have property returned that was seized as evidence but no longer needed for prosecution, and to receive assistance with preparing, submitting and follow- up with a claim for compensation;
  • To be notified of an adult offender’s transfer from a state prison to a mental health facility and the discharge, transfer or escape of the adult offender from that facility;
  • To receive immediate notice of the release of an adult offender on bail who is incarcerated in a local prison for a violation of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVPO), or Protection From Intimidation (PFI) order ,or for a personal injury crime committed against the victim protected by the order;
  • To have notice and to provide prior comment on a judicial recommendation that the defendant participate in a motivational boot camp;
  • To have notice and provide comment on resentencing decisions regarding an offender;
  • To be notified of the disposition and sentence of an adult, including sentence modifications;
  • To have notice and provide prior comment on prosecutor’s waiver of eligibility requirement of an offender to enter the Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive (RRRI) Program;
  • To be notified and provide comment if the court considers an offender to be eligible for participation in the State Drug Treatment Program;
  • To receive pre-parole notifications 90 days prior to parole date of offender;
  • To submit pre-parole statements regarding offender’s parole supervision, including suggestions of special conditions, submit written petition to deny parole, and to appear in person or through representation to provide testimony before parole panel;
  • Receive notice of the parole board’s decision before the offender’s release.
  • To be present at trials and the execution of an offender; and 
  • To receive notice of the arrest of a defendant for violating a PFA order. 

Victims of personal injury crimes have the additional rights:

  • To receive notice of the arrest of a suspect or the filing or forwarding of a complaint relating to the crime;
  • By the victim’s request, to receive notice when an adult offender is released from incarceration at sentencing;
  • To receive notice of an opportunity to give prior comment on and receive post-sentencing decisions involving an offender’s release from a state prison, such as medical release, work release, furlough, parole, pardon or community treatment center placement;
  • To receive notice of and provide prior comment on recommendations sought by the Department of Corrections that an offender may participate in a motivational boot camp;
  • To receive notice of the release of an adult offender from a local correctional facility, including work release, medical release, furlough, parole, release from a boot camp or community treatment center placement;
  • To receive notice of, including location and time, a dispositional proceeding, if the prosecutor’s office has advance notice of said proceeding;
  • To receive immediate notice of the escape of an adult offender and subsequent apprehension;
  • By the victim’s request, to receive notice of the filing, hearing or disposition of appeals;
  • To receive notice of the commitment to a mental health institution from a state or local correctional institution;
  • To receive notice of the termination of the courts’ jurisdiction;
  • To provide prior comment on work release or medical release of an offender from a state prison or local correctional facility; and 
  • To give prior comment on the potential reduction or dropping of charges or any changes of a plea in a criminal or delinquency proceeding or diversion of a case, including an informal adjustment or a consent decree.

Victims of sexual assault have the additional rights:

  • To receive information concerning the availability of protection orders;
  • To have the confidential support of a counselor from a rape crisis center at the hospital during and after a forensic rape exam.  (call 1-888-772-7227 to contact a local rape crisis center); 
  • To have a sexual assault evidence kit collected and tested anonymously/without a name attached to it;
  • To have a sexual assault evidence kit collected and tested even if the exact location of the crime cannot be provided;
  • To not be billed or charged for the costs of a forensic exam or sexual assault evidence kit;
  • To have sexual assault evidence kept according to the statute of limitations; and
  • To be notified of the status of a sexual assault evidence kit, if requested, including at least 60 days prior to the destruction of evidence.
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Golfer Information

Individual golfer fees are $125 and cover cart and greens fees, brunch, hole prizes, snacks and beverages on the
course as well as appetizers at the awards ceremony. If you have any questions, please contact Julie at
Women’s Services 814.724.4637.

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