A "Light the Courthouse" ceremony closes the first Town Meeting on Domestic Violence & the Courts, held Oct. 3 at Montgomery County Courthouse, Norristown.
In honor of Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, LASP staff attorney Beverly Boyle and paralegal Liliana Ventura joined professionals from Montco's Domestic Violence Legal Network (DVLN) at a town meeting. The Oct. 3, 2017 event outlined services available to victims. Speaking on the panel, Boyle noted that LASP helps domestic abuse victims obtain Protection From Abuse orders (PFAs) and can also help clients under Pennsylvania's 2015 law, the Protection From Sexual Violence and Intimidation Act. Victims and friends/family of victims shared their stories. They observed that educational programs on "what a healthy relationship looks like" were missing from their experiences as students. School assemblies on the dangers of drunk driving, drugs and other issues did make a difference, they said, and they encouraged schools to teach about healthy relationships through health classes and school presentations. Moderated by Joel Bernbaum, Esq., the town meeting also addressed: * Procedures of the Montco Prothonotary's Office and Sheriff's Dept. * Improvements in Norristown Police Dept. procedure in addressing domestic violence calls in the last 11 years. * Friends of the Court volunteer program, implemented by Hon. Kelly C. Wall, Administrative Judge for the Family Division of Montco's Court of Common Pleas. * Assistance to victims from Women's Center of Montgomery County. * Help offered to victims through Laurel House and DART (Domestic Abuse Response Team).