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A Retrospective: The Nation’s Landmark Restraining Order Law and First State Domestic Violence Coalition  

Author:  Susan Kelly-Dreis.

Source: Volume 20, Number 04, April/May 2015 , pp.19-22(4)

Domestic Violence Report

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In the early 1970s, women’s groups began to focus attention on the problem of domestic violence. One state that played a major role in the early battered women’s movement was Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania legislature enacted an influential restraining order law in 1976, the Protection From Abuse Act (PFA), which became the catalyst for widespread enactment of similar laws across the country. The second contribution of Pennsylvania’s grassroots battered women’s movement was the formation of the first statewide coalition against domestic violence, founded in 1976. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) created new services that responded uniquely to the needs of battered women, then developed service definitions and terminology that have been widely utilized by local, state, and federal agencies. This article, by the retired Executive Director of the PCADV, discusses the events and significance of these two contributions to the early battered women’s movement.

Keywords: Organizing coalitions; funding domestic violence services; judicial advocacy

Affiliations:  1: Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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