HARRISBURG, PA.—The Department of Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military has released its report highlighting the need for improved sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

For the last 16 months, Delilah Rumburg, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape participated as part of a task force that conducted a detailed assessment of the Department of Defense programs, policies and practices that address sexual assault involving members of the Armed Forces.

Rumburg and others from the 10-member task force traveled to areas such as Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Italy, Germany and more than a dozen U.S. states to conduct interviews with military ranging from generals to the enlisted. The task force developed a set of questions that would help assess the quality of response and services when there is a sexual assault.

It also examined the judicial process and the implementation of primary prevention efforts. “We received information from more than 3,000 members of the military over the last year,” Rumburg said. “The information gathered through the last year helped shape changes and develop recommendations that will provide better prevention strategies and more effective assistance to those who have been sexually assaulted.”

According to the task force, the Defense Department has made significant progress in improving response to victims’ needs; however, greater focus and efforts are required to fully address sexual assault prevention.

“The unique partnership of the task force brought great insight to the work of the task force and especially, in the findings and recommendations delivered to the Secretary of Defense,” said Louis Iasiello, task force co-chairman.

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PCAR is participating in Liz Claiborne Inc’s sixth annual It’s Time to Talk Day on December 3rd, this day is dedicated to ensuring that Americans speak-up about subjects that most people simply prefer not to discuss — domestic and sexual violence.

It’s Time to Talk Day events will be held nationwide, including at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC with Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg will be participating in a “Talk Radio Row” on domestic and sexual violence at Liz Claiborne headquarters in New York.

Major partners for this year’s event include the U.S. Department of Justice, CBS Evening News, REDBOOK, Seventeen, DoSomething.org, one, MTV, the Joyful Heart Foundation, Talkers Magazine and Talk Radio News Service.

For more information visit www.loveisnotabuse.com

Former PA First Lady Michele Ridge with PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg

Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is proud to announce that Michelle Ridge  received the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year at the annual National Philanthropy Day Celebration on Monday, November 16 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel.

Ridge has served as Vision of Hope Advisory Chair since the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center founded the Vision of Hope campaign in July 2005.

Under Michele’s leadership, the Vision of Hope campaign strives to research, develop and financially support cutting-edge practices in the areas of child sexual abuse prevention, protection and intervention.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, but am most grateful to have such incredible, talented and extraordinary volunteers working with me to make vital contributions that impact on our children and youth throughout the Commonwealth,” Ridge said.

“By working together, we are able to harness resources to create meaningful change, greater public awareness and further provide important services to our most vulnerable population that ultimately will protect the hopes and dreams of our children.” Read the rest of this entry »

(L to R) Rich Hunter from Verizon Wireless, Delilah Rumburg (PCAR), Chris Brennan From Verizon

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) through its Vision of Hope project announces a $30,000 grant from Verizon Foundation and Verizon Wireless to provide Internet Safety educational outreach in Cumberland County.

The funding will help the YWCA of Carlisle offer this program to students, parents and educators in the Cumberland Valley and Big Spring School Districts.

“PCAR is thankful to form a partnership with Verizon and Verizon Wireless that will help to make our children safer,” said PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg. “Verizon and Verizon Wireless have shown a strong dedication to the anti-violence movement. I look forward working with them to help end violence to children and families in the community.”

The Internet Safety Program will include multiple activities designed to increase students’ knowledge of risky online behaviors including hands-on training for parents and the general public and an awareness campaign.

“Our children are growing up in a digital world. It’s how they communicate, learn and share ideas,” said Christopher Brennan, Director-External Affairs with Verizon Pennsylvania.  “Online technology has had a tremendous impact on our society, and its role will continue to grow with further advances. Verizon is proud to partner with PCAR to educate and empower students, parents and teachers in the Cumberland County community to enjoy a safe experience while on the internet.”

Rich Hunter, Associate Director, Business Sales for Verizon Wireless, added: “We are proud to work with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape to raise awareness and provide resources through our exclusive HopeLine® phone recycling program, which has existed for nearly a decade and a half.  No single company or agency can fully address the critical need to keep our children from falling prey to internet predators but working together, we can all make a much larger impact.” Read the rest of this entry »

AG with DR and Diane

PA Attorney General Tom Corbett with PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg (L) and PCAR Legal Director Diane Moyer (R)

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape honored Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett Friday at its annual board meeting in State College.

Attorney General Corbett received the Community Partners Award for his work in creating the Child Predator Unit and his efforts to reduce the number of sexual assaults across the state.

“The attorneys, investigators and dedicated staff from the Office of Attorney General work vigorously every day to make Pennsylvania a better and safer place for all of our residents,” Attorney General Tom Corbett said.  “The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape shares this same goal, and I count it as an honor to be recognized by them as a partner in their mission to prevent sexual violence and protect our families against the growing threat of Internet predators.”

Under Attorney General Corbett’s leadership, the Child Predator Unit became a top priority when he became Attorney General in 2005. The project has led to the arrest of more than 240 individuals who have attempted to sexually solicit children whom they believed to be minors, including undercover agents using the online profiles of children as well as actual children who alerted parents or other concerned adults about the inappropriate contact.

“Attorney General Corbett’s work is a remarkable testament to his dedication to end child sexual abuse,” PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg said. “Tom recognized that predators were using the Internet as a means of contacting and communicating with young victims. He knew it was critical for law enforcement to stay one step ahead.”

The unit’s efforts have paid off in a 100 percent conviction rate against these predators.

Corbett also created the successful “Operation Safe Surf” program, which takes the lessons learned from Internet predator investigations and uses examples to educate children, parents, teachers and others about how to better protect themselves online. Safe Surf is presented free of charge to schools and community groups across the state, and has reached more than 200,000 teens and adults.

PCAR is the oldest and largest state anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve the state’s 67 counties. Each year, these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to more than 21,000 victims of sexual abuse.