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Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is at the heart of Transitions' mission. We began back in 1975 as a group of women from the greater Lewisburg/Sunbury/Selinsgrove region who recognized the reality that many local women were facing -- what to do if they were being "battered." Over 45 later, have evolved and grown to tackle all violence in our area. Remember: Domestic violence isn't just a "women's issue," it's an EVERYBODY issue.
Click Here to RSVP to the Vigil


  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men
  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
                                                                                                                 (Statistics from NSVRC)

Domestic violence exists not only in movies or in far away places -- it exists right here in the Greater Susquehanna Valley.
We offer a multitude of services to survivors such as:

  • Two emergency safe house shelters available 24/7
  • A 24-hour hotline staffed 365 days a year for crisis situations
  • A full legal advocacy team ready to assist survivors to fill out Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders and more
  • A safe custody exchange location providing free, secure, monitored exchanges in the heart of Sunbury
  • A housing team that works to place the survivor in affordable housing
  • Trauma-informed counselors for adults, teens, and children 
  • Much, much more
Listen to the Stories:

Watch: View the TED Talk given by award-winning author and domestic violence survivor Leslie Morgan Steiner on her personal experience with violence.
Check Out: Give a listen to Marica Phipps tell her own story of her battle with domestic violence.
Talking to Kids About Child Abuse

When talking to children about child abuse, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you are comfortable talking about abuse. 

If you begin a conversation with a child and they can tell that you are uncomfortable with the topic, they are going to become uncomfortable as well.  In order to prepare them and help them understand what to do in these situations, you need to speak to them in a way that is direct, open, and honest. 

That being said, you still need to speak to them in a language that a child will understand.  Another important thing to consider when discussing abuse with a child is to bring up what they should do if they ever find themselves in an abusive situation. 

Create a safety plan including someone that the child feels comfortable talking to, whether it is you or someone else, as well as somewhere the child feels safe.  These discussions are so important for us to have with children, they should be happening as soon as possible and as often as possible.  We need to create an open dialogue for our children so that they know they can come and talk to us or ask us anything no matter how scary it may seem.

-- Nicole Yeager, Education Specialist

Transitions of PA is hosting a virtual screening of LUNAFEST. Tickets are by donation ($5 Suggested Donation) and are available now by clicking on the BUY TICKETS button.

Almost two decades ago, LUNA saw that women were painfully underrepresented in film. So in 2001 they created the first all-women traveling film festival. Since then, they’ve opened opportunities for more than 150 women filmmakers, putting them in the spotlight. And as Kit Crawford, founder & co-CEO insists, “telling stories that have to be told.’

In addition, each year the unique platform travels to close to 200 cities, raising funds for local women’s causes.

For the Virtual Screening, you will receive a streaming link + passcode the morning of the event date. These will be valid for 24 hours from 12 PM (EDT) on 10/15 through 12 PM (EDT) on 10/16.

NOTE: This is the rescheduled date. This event was originally scheduled for 9/23/20. All tickets purchased for the 9/23/20 date will be valid for the new date.

Click below to view the official LUNAFEST preview, as well as to purchase tickets:

Buy LUNAFEST Tickets Now
Monthly Staff Recommendations

Topic: Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Staff: Susan Mathias, CEO

WATCH: Unbelievable (Netflix Limited Series)
This 2018 film is based on a true story of Marie, a teenager charged with lying by law enforcement about having been raped.  Spoiler alert… she was indeed raped but was talked out of believing her own truth.  It does an excellent job of portraying of how our systems fails victims.

This Netflix show does an excellent job of showing how far we have come as a society!  Everyone smokes cigarettes like chimneys, which goes to show that change is possible!  Now women no longer accept being harassed and subjugated at work like they are in Mad Men.  The series deals with the topic of abortion; studies the complexity of consent; and shows how few options women used to have in life. 

READ: The Color Purple, by Alice Walker

This 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alice Walker, is the story of a black Southern woman who struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades. Black women are truly American heroes.
A Final Word:
Working for social and economic justice and believing that dissent is essential for positive change reflect my core values.  I saw flagrant racism in the south as a child; successfully filed a Title complaint against the University of Georgia to gain funding for women’s athletics; and investigated race and sex discrimination at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1970’s. These experiences had a strong impact on me.

At the end of this year, I am stepping down from my role as CEO at Transitions.  I will be involved and supportive throughout this “transition,” so to speak.   I have been involved with Transitions as an ally, volunteer, and employee since 1988 and my commitment remains strong to victims and survivors in the Valley with the goal of ending violence and abuse. 

Since I began at Transitions in 2013, we have seen tremendous growth.  In 2013, we had 13 staff members and a budget of $900,000.  Today, we have 42 employees and a budget of $3,336,000.  This growth can be attributed to the increased understanding of the need for services for victims of crimes and the resulting expansion of our client services that includes:
  • improved safe houses, including bi-lingual services
  • expansion of counseling that includes trauma therapists
  • housing assistance that economically empowers victims
  • an increase in the number of legal advocates to assist with protection from abuse orders
  • growth of our education team
  • establishment of the Transitions Legal Center that offers attorneys at no cost
  • creation of an on-campus Transitions advocate role at Susquehanna University
  • the opening of a custody exchange and visitation center to reduce child and family trauma
  • direct services for Human trafficking victims.
We remain committed to versatility; in-depth training as victim services professionals; and direct service to our clients.  This work is complex and we have become specialized while attempting to avoid a “silo mentality.”  At Transitions, no one says, “That is not my job.”

The more services we offer to victims, the more people understand that we are here for their safety; to help educate about healthy relationships; and to advocate and navigate the complex legal and medical systems in our area.   Our services have grown in response to the need and there seems to be no end to the need for the services we provide. 

What I have enjoyed most about working at Transitions is the people with whom I work. Transitions employees are an amazing and caring group of people.  This is also true for our many allies.  I was honored when Governor Tom Wolf identified Transitions employees as “Essential Services.”  It feels good that we are recognized in this way.

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