BethGrossman4da

Why isn’t anyone talking about Tavonia Love?

 

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In May of this year,  in Philadelphia, Tavonia Love was killed by her ex-boyfriend Anthony Eubanks. Love was in town at the time to give testimony against Eubanks. Eubanks’ defense attorney was Larry Krasner.  Krasner has consistently evaded questions about his involvement in this case.

 

 

Since 2004, 1,678 people have been killed in Domestic Violence incidents in PennsylvaniaNearly 30% of all African American females are victimized by a partner in their lifetime. That is a rate over two times higher than the rate domestic violence affects any other race in America. Domestic Violence is often left out of public conversations on violence, especially against women of color. Unfortunately, these crimes do not get the attention in society, or the media, that they deserve.

 

 

Worldwide studies of Domestic Violence reporting indicate that coverage of Domestic Violence furthers the stigma and misunderstanding about the seriousness of this kind of violence. This can be seen in the coverage of the murder of Tavonia Love, where the words “Domestic Violence” are not used in much of the coverage on her death despite the  assaults Love reported Eubanks made against her. Even with the continued documentation of the crimes against Love, Eubanks was allowed to evade justice,  and provided with the opportunity to murder Love before taking his own life.

 

 

Homicide is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 44, according to a report by the CDC, and over half of those are at the hands of a former or current intimate partner. These women are victims of serious crimes. When incidents of domestic violence against women of color are not taken seriously, and defense attorneys like Krasner make it possible for violent offenders to continue to terrorize victims, those situations can escalate to the kinds of horrific violence like that experienced by Tavonia Love.

 

 

During this Domestic Violence Awareness Month it is time to take violence against women, and in particular women of color, more seriously, before something like this happens again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement on white supremacist rally at Fairmount Park

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On Saturday, October 14, 2017, a group of white supremacists gathered in Fairmount Park.  Beth Grossman, a Jewish woman and fourth-generation Philadelphian, who has spent much of her legal career seeking justice for crime victims, was deeply affected by the demonstration.

 

 

The next day, Sunday, October 15, 2017, Beth was at the Shaare Shamayim Synagogue Candidates’ Forum, the only District Attorney candidate to appear at the event that day. After the event, she reflected on recent events of vandalism against the Jewish community in Philadelphia over the past year: Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai in Tacony, vandalized three times since last December; the vandalism of Congregation Beth Solomon; and repeated desecration of graves at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.

 

 

“The white supremacist gathering in our City of Brotherly Love, does nothing in reducing divisiveness that exists all over as of late. As a Jewish woman, I find it disturbing and unsettling,” Beth said, “especially after seeing Nazi flags being waved in Charlottesville.”

 

 

While, as Mayor Kenney stated in response to the events, “the First Amendment is the First Amendment”, and thus affords citizens the right to rally, protest, and chant, it also affords citizens the right to disagree.

 

 

Beth said, “As an American, I value this right,” and applauded the Philadelphia Police Department for maintaining the peace, she went on to say: “I neither approve nor condone this originally planned event. Philadelphia does not need this. And that is my protest.”

 

 

Philadelphia papers focus on experience

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Learn more about Beth from these recent interviews:

 

 

Beth Grossman, the Republican candidate for District Attorney of Philadelphia

from Al Dia News by Edwin Lopez Moya

 

Grossman claims that her more than 21 years of experience are her best cover letter for the position. She says that these two decades in the field have allowed her to know in depth what works and what doesn’t in the entity.

To make the changes required by the investigative body, Grossman assures that her strategy, if elected, will be to implement a preventive approach that will help reduce the prison population through the strengthening of alternative criminal programs such as pre-arrest diversion, youth court and re-entry programs.

According to the Republican candidate, these programs have proven to be successful because they “get more results especially with our young people” since it prevents them from going through traumatic experiences like criminal prosecution in a court.

“My goal is really to not increase convictions but to reduce arrests for the right reasons, because less crime has being committed. We still have gun violence and I am going to take a hard stance on that, including illegal gun possession that is problematic [and] for whatever reasons the DA Office for the past several years has really decreased addressing that. I think we’ve lost too many people to gun violence, that’s the real cause of the death here and I think we really have to go after that,” she said.

 

Read more here.

 

 

Grossman cites experience in bid for Philly DA

from Philadelphia Inquirer by Chris Brennan

 

Grossman said she never expected to run for the office where she spent 21 years as an assistant. Blame that on Seth Williams, a onetime boss, who will be sentenced Oct. 24 after pleading guilty to a federal count of bribery.

After moving to the Department of Licenses and Inspections in 2015, Grossman entered the race in January, itching to take on Williams. Her slogan: “Beth, not Seth.”

Williams, a Democrat, was still seeking a third term, but dropped out in February and was indicted in March.

Philadelphia political corruption made Grossman a Republican, she said. She left the Democrats in 2013, returned in 2015 and went back to the GOP last year.

Though she said she was fed up with the way Williams operated, Grossman allowed that he made improvements. She praised his use of diversionary programs for nonviolent offenders and a move to assign the trial division geographically, putting prosecutors closer to neighborhoods.

 

Read more here.

 

Returning Citizens For A Better Philadelphia (CAC)  Endorse Beth Grossman For The Next District Attorney Of Philadelphia

 

“On A Quest For Parity”

Returning Citizens For A Better Philadelphia (CAC) Endorse Beth Grossman For The Next District Attorney Of Philadelphia

Press Conference – Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

 

Freedom Fighters Martin Luther King Jr.,  Harriet Tubman, and Octavius Catto are some notable Black American Republicans.  But Philadelphia’s District Attorney race is not about parties or politics, it’s about principles and issues.  It is about people.

 

Our vote is for Beth Grossman because of her love for our City and our Citizens as well as the United States Constitution.  Our Constitution makes it clear there are Laws  and what the Supreme Order is.  As we see today, without order we will have chaos.

 

Beth Grossman is willing to be one of the first soldiers to take a stand,  which is why we must stand with Justice and we must stand with Beth Grossman.

 

Our main concerns are public safety, prevention through education, and re-entry without reoffending.  We need a strong prosecutor like Beth Grossman who:

prefers education over incarceration

supports alternative means of corrections

can hit the ground running

has a relationship with all of Philadelphia’s communities

is on a quest for parity

 

You do not have to change parties or even have a party affiliation.  You only have to be registered to vote, and then make sure you get to the polls to vote for Beth Grossman for DA on November 7th.

 

 

 

 

It is time to get serious about victims of gun violence in Philadelphia

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Thursday morning we all woke up to the news that 6 people were shot and 2 killed, in the Strawberry Mansion and Grays Ferry neighborhoods. As of today, Friday October 6, 2017, 233 people have been killed this year in Philadelphia. That is up 8% from last year. On September 25th a piece on the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims appeared on this website, members of this campaign staff attended events in Philadelphia to commemorate murder victims, some to honor murder victims from their own families.  Since that day 11 people have been murdered by gun violence in Philadelphia. That is one person killed every day over the past 11 days and 90% of those being killed are young men. 78% are African American, 15% are Hispanic, and most of them never make it to their 30th birthday. Tragic gun violence is hurting our city every day and while the recent declaration of gun violence being a public health crisis by city council is worth applauding, it is only symbolic. We need more than symbolic gestures and rallies after tragedies. We need to get serious about gun violence.

 

The agenda of the Democratic candidate for DA, Larry Krasner, has skewed the conversations in the District Attorney’s Race about crime in our city, in the media, at debates, at forums, and it must end. Many of those outlets have not been talking about, or asking questions about, the most important job of the District Attorney: serving and protecting victims and witnesses of crime. When people are being shot and killed every day in Philadelphia we need to talk about victims and how those deaths are affecting our communities.

 

The Democratic candidate has a difficult time talking about supporting victims and witnesses of crime, because he has defended people in violent shooting crimes. He has recently worked with Jack McMahon, a former prosecutor who is known for creating instructional videos on how to prevent ‘young blacks’ from serving on juries. Together they have defended violent robberies where guns were used , questioning surviving victims of those crimes until they were brought to tears. Krasner sought out McMahon’s assistance when he actively petitioned for the endorsement of the FOP. The FOP decided they wanted nothing to do with that.
“During my 21 1/2 years as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office,” Beth said, “I prosecuted individuals for illegal possession of guns.  I prosecuted drug cases that involved both drugs and guns.  I prosecuted those who harmed people by shooting them.  Additionally, for eight years, I was the Chief of the Public Nuisance Task Force, the unit which worked with communities to close down violent bars where gun violence happened. Some of these bars included the Jaguar Lounge, Club Solo, the Felton Supper Club and the Corral Bar.”

 

The Democratic candidate and his supporters refuse to talk about victims of crime in Philadelphia, while he speaks about the African American and Hispanic community in terms as if they are all criminals. They are not. These are valuable members of our communities and city at large being gunned down in our streets every day and we need to talk about that, we need to provide support and resources for these families experiencing loss. The work of the District Attorney’s Office is to give a voice to victims. It is time to get serious with how we talk about victims of crime in Philadelphia, especially in relation to the race for District Attorney. 

 

“If elected District Attorney of Philadelphia,” Beth said, “I pledge to vigorously prosecute gun crimes in order to prevent lives from being lost and to make neighborhoods safer.”

Angel’s story

I am a registered Democrat, mother of an abuse survivor, and support Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia.

 

That day, it was pouring rain. It poured so bad the ceiling fell through at work. It was summer, and one of my daughters was acting out at summer camp and was asked to leave. My children’s father and I had only just gotten back together, and the children were happy about it, so we all agreed my daughter would stay with her father during the day while I was at work. This rainy day was their first day alone together so I could work; he sent me pictures of her writing and sitting on the couch. Before this, my daughter would say “Daddy doesn’t like me.” I thought about what a good thing this seemed to be for all of us, and for them to have a Daddy / Daughter day.

 

 

After the ceiling fell through at work, I called him at home to ask him to come pick me up. He said OK. When I got into the car, I was in the passenger side, he was on the driver’s side, and she was behind us. As I sat down, my daughter* said to me, “Daddy made me suck his penis,” and it was as if the world just stopped.

 

I just paused. He said “That’s not what happened.”

 

She said, “Yeah. And you told me not to tell Mommy.”

 

 

I was just totally thrown. I can hardly even remember driving to pick up the rest of our children. When we got to pick up our youngest from daycare I couldn’t let them sit in the car together. So he went in to pick up the baby, and I asked my daughter questions about what happened. And I just knew, I knew, in my gut I knew she was telling me the truth. I was angry, upset, saddened, and all I could think was – ‘What do I do, what do I do?’

 

 

When he came back out to put the baby in the car I got out of the passenger side and after he closed the door we stood in the rain. I screamed at him: “How could you do that!” He continued to deny everything. He couldn’t even look at me.

 

 

I got into the driver’s side of the car. I can’t remember getting home. I drove us to the house and I told him to go into the house, get his things and leave. After telling him to be gone before I got back, I left with my kids. And I cried. I cried for various reasons. I cried for my daughter, and for the situation. What did I put myself into, what did I put my kids into? I called DHS, they helped me make a plan of what to do until we were assigned a social worker. I worried they wouldn’t believe her, but our assigned worker was so nice. They took us down to SVU and St. Christopher’s hospital. They reached out to him to get his response. They couldn’t get in touch with him. We found out that he never went back to work, that he left town, so a warrant was put out for his arrest. Eventually I had to keep a phone I had for him on in order to convince him to come back into Philadelphia and face justice.

 

 

When I say the people in court were wonderful, I mean they were wonderful. It makes me tear up still to think of how strong my daughter had to be to face her father in court, and the prosecutors and advocates were with her the entire time. When it was time for sentencing they asked me if I wanted to make a statement. Standing in front of that full court room, after the judge heard 87 cases that day, they still made time to listen to me, and I really, truly felt heard. The judge gave him the maximum sentence and people in the courtroom, black, white, brown, from all different walks of life, they all cheered for my daughter and me and the justice served.

 

 

The Assistant District Attorney in charge of prosecuting the case told me I could always get in touch with him, especially when my children’s father comes up for parole, but he comes up for parole next year. The idea of someone being in charge of the DA’s office that has no experience being there for victims makes me afraid for my family. So much that I have thought we would have to move out of the city soon. This is why I am for Beth Grossman for District Attorney. I do not want to have to pick up my kids and put their lives into chaos again because of this man. We need a District Attorney that knows what she is doing, my children’s safety is too important to me to vote any other way.

 

Angel*

Social Services Professional, Mother, Concerned Resident of Philadelphia

 

 

 

 

*all names of underage victims and family names have been withheld to protect their privacy

Philadelphia coming together to stop domestic violence

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is now in its 30th year and Wednesday October 4, 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of Women Against Abuse’s ‘I Pledge …’ campaign bringing awareness and connections to community services in Philadelphia during October.

 

Since 2004, almost 2,000 people have been killed in domestic violence incidents in Pennsylvania.  In Philadelphia alone, there are over 100,000 calls to the police department for domestic violence and relational violence incidents. These calls encompass all kinds of violence and abuse between partners and within families.

 

 

Three women are killed every day in intimate partner violence, and women of color are disproportionately affected by this. Nearly 30% of all African American females are victimized by a partner in their lifetime. That is a rate over two times higher than the rate domestic violence affects any other race in America. Homicide is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 44, according to a report by the CDC, and over half of those are at the hands of a former or current intimate partner.

 

 

These crimes against women, and especially women of color, unfortunately do not get the attention in society or the media that they deserve. When a man kills a woman with whom he has an intimate relationship, the average sentence is 2 to 6 years in prison. When a woman kills an intimate partner, the average sentence is 15 years. These disparities must be addressed.

 

 

Domestic violence incidents even make law enforcement vulnerable as well.  Domestic violence incidents are the most dangerous for responding police officers and a study of law enforcement officer deaths from 2010-2014 by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund found more officers were killed responding to domestic violence calls than in any other response to dispatched calls for service, including robbery and burglary.

 

 

Domestic violence is often left out of public conversations on violence, maintaining the stigma of such violence. Worldwide studies of domestic violence reporting indicate that coverage of domestic violence furthers this stigma and misunderstanding about the seriousness of violence against women. Fortunately, there are tremendous organizations in Philadelphia like Concilio, Congresso de Latinos Unidos, Women Against Abuse, Women In Transition, and now Shared Safety, working together to reduce domestic violence in Philadelphia. Creating these new shared connections between services for those experiencing relational violence in Philadelphia is imperative to keeping all of Philadelphia safe.

 

“Awareness and knowledge are power,” Beth said after attending today’s ‘I Pledge…’ event, “and I encourage everyone to speak up against domestic violence throughout Philadelphia.  Become educated and, if someone you know is being subjected to domestic violence, refer them to the resources available in Philadelphia.  We must fight domestic violence together.”

 

Events related to Domestic Violence Awareness Month continue throughout the city all month and on October 5th Philadelphians can show their support by wearing purple for the ‘Paint Philly Purple’ day.

Regarding the recent FOP fundraiser and BLM protest 

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Unions defend and support their members in many capacities.  That is why they exist and why their members pay dues.  I understand why the FOP defends and supports its members. I also understand why BLM is angry and protesting. Both are within their rights to do what they are doing. However, divisiveness accomplishes nothing and relationships between the police and communities need to be strengthened.
While I received the FOP endorsement, both myself and my opponent were asked to meet with the FOP for endorsement consideration. My opponent not only sought out this endorsement, he campaigned in an attempt to obtain the FOP endorsement.  This included bringing a former veteran prosecutor with him to address the FOP members in seeking out the endorsement.
My 21 years as a prosecutor is the reason behind the many endorsements I have received.  Whether I was prosecuting a police officer, city worker, a pill pushing doctor or child predator, I’ve prosecuted them all with integrity. An endorsement does not mean I wholly support or am obligated to those that endorse me. It means those making the endorsement believe I am the most qualified person for the position.
For the sake of peace in Philadelphia, I encourage Mayor Jim Kenney and members of City Council to facilitate a dialogue between BLM and the FOP. Maintaining divisiveness is distracting from creating greater understanding in our city. A peaceful dialogue needs to be facilitated between these parties by the elected officials of our city to ensure that every Philadelphian experiences the quality of life that they deserve.

Aja’s Story

I am a registered Independent, survivor of violence, and support Beth Grossman for District Attorney of Philadelphia.

 

Since 2008, I’ve worked on social justice issues. Just a few have been; supporting crime victims and their families, projects to assist the incarcerated, supporting conviction review, and ending the death penalty. This is why, when I started working as one of the Deputy Campaign Managers for Beth Grossman for District Attorney in Philadelphia, some people reached out to ask me how this happened.

 

It was only last year that I went through the criminal justice system as the victim of a crime. According to Women Against Abuse, there are over 100,000 emergency calls about domestic abuse in Philadelphia every year. Mine was one of them. In 2001, my cousin Deirdre was murdered in a domestic violence incident in Vermont. The repercussions of domestic violence run deep in my family. Many people do not know how to assist victims and their family members when violence touches their lives and their communities, it is not a job just anyone can perform. I am blessed to have received a lot of support to get divorced and move on with my life. That support came in the form of loved ones, my community, self determination, and services the Philadelphia Police Department and District Attorney’s Office provided and connected me with.

 

…there are over 100,000 emergency calls about domestic abuse in Philadelphia every year.

 

Throughout my case the Assistant District Attorney assigned to it was kind, helpful and communicative. Despite being overworked, she made her best effort to be engaged and direct me to services. She connected me with a victim/witness coordinator that communicated with me frequently. For trials, they had a victim advocate in the court room. All of these; the ADA, victim coordinator, and victim advocate, discussed with me what to expect, helped to ensure I got to and from trials safely, and advocated for what was best for me. They also advocated for the rehabilitation of the person that assaulted me. That is because all good District Attorney’s Offices help victims find justice to become whole while working to ensure assailants have the best chance at a positive reentry into society.

 

 

District Attorneys’ Offices prosecute crimes. Real and significant crimes, involving real and significant people.  The mission of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office starts like this: “The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office provides a voice for victims of crime and protects the community through zealous, ethical and effective investigations and prosecutions.”

 

 

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has as many as 23 diversion programs for offenders. My ex-husband received diversion, an alternative to probation. If a person completes diversion, which includes therapy sessions, they can avoid having a permanent record. Whenever my ex-husband violated the terms of his diversion by trying to contact me or standing in front of my residence, I could reach out to advocates and coordinators at the District Attorney’s Office and local police department for help. He has already finished his diversion program. I can still call the District Attorney’s Office, even now that the case has been closed, when he tries to contact me, and they help me seek out options to protect myself and my family.

 

 

I try to think outside of any party affiliation and have always been a registered Independent. We all know how difficult it is to think outside of party politics, especially right now, but I always try to be a discerning voter. During the primary race, I was wary of the Democratic front runner, Larry Krasner, an experienced defense attorney, because of my personal experiences in the justice system. There are four pillars of his campaign; end mass incarceration, focus on serious crime, stand up for rights and liberties, resist the Trump administration. Those pillars do not reflect the  primary mission of the District Attorney’s Office: being a voice for victims of crime and protecting the community. In fact, only briefly on the Democratic candidate’s site does he mention what he will do for victims of crime. Buried within the pillars of his campaign, there is a single sentence about victims with six words. It says that they will be treated with ‘respect and sensitivity.’

 

Victims coming forward, people who have been assaulted, murder victims’ family members, they deserve better than the bare minimum of ‘respect and sensitivity,’ they deserve to have a voice and they deserve justice.

 

The Democratic nominee’s position not only does a disservice to victims, it denies the tremendous work organizations have done in the city helping victims of crime for many years.

 

Deeper into the site, he briefly expands on the position by making claims that the District Attorney’s Office fails victims, that the city does not effectively utilize trauma informed care. This bothered me, because Philadelphia is known to be “at the forefront of understanding trauma and it’s connection to health, education, and social and emotional well being” for over a decade, using practices that have “drawn national recognition,” and an extensive coalition of victims services working together throughout the city. The Democratic nominee’s position not only does a disservice to victims, it denies the tremendous work organizations have done in the city helping victims of crime for many years. There is always room for improvement, but there is no need to completely omit the tireless work conducted by those who have committed their lives to the service of victims and safety of our city.

 

When I went to the ‘Policy and Positions’ at Beth’s website, the first position listed is ‘Victims and Survivors Rights.’ It goes beyond a single sentence about how victims of crime can expect to be treated by the office; it lists the laws related to serving Victims and Survivors. She recognizes the “tireless work of the numerous Victim-Witness service providers who assist victims and witnesses” enabling them to navigate the criminal justice system.

 

Beth also has other policies I agree with. She is committed to diversion for juvenile offenders. She believes in treating the heroin and opioid crisis as a public health issue for those suffering from addiction, while knowing how to prosecute large scale narcotic traffickers locally. Beth is against illegal gun sellers and those that possess guns illegally. She is for effectively and safely reducing the prison population by supporting re-entry and deterrence programs, and utilizing the Conviction Review Unit to review claims of innocence in previously tried cases.

 

Victims…deserve better than the bare minimum of ‘respect and sensitivity,’ they deserve to have a voice and they deserve justice.

 

She is used to the volume of cases, she knows what teams to turn to when there could be evidence of innocence for a person on death row, she knows who to delegate cases to, she will understand how to speak, with empathy, to a family who has just experienced the murder of a loved one and help them to navigate the criminal justice system, because she has experience doing those things. These are all parts of her policies and why I support her. She is simply the most qualified candidate for the job.

 

Every District Attorney’s Office should keep in mind those they prosecute and do their job within ethical standards they agreed to uphold. Those who commit crimes have resources within the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office that many prosecutors worked hard to ensure in an effort to move towards increased fairness and justice. Those who commit crimes also have their defense attorneys for support, even court appointed over worked defense attorneys. Crime victims have city services, which are in tremendous need of support, that are directly associated with the District Attorney’s Office. The office of a District Attorney in any city should always be putting victims’ services at the forefront of their work. It is the most important quality I look for in any candidate for District Attorney. Only one candidate is putting victims’ rights first, and I support her.

 

Aja Beech

Author, Deputy Campaign Manager, Concerned Resident of Philadelphia

District Attorney Candidate Beth Grossman calls for increased supports through District Attorney Office for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 15% of all violent crimes are violence between intimate partners. In the United States, every day 3 women are killed by intimate partner violence and as many as fifty women are killed every month by an intimate partner. The Philadelphia Police Department alone handles over 100,000 calls about domestic violence every year. Less than 35% of those injured by intimate partner violence obtain medical care for their injuries.

 

Protecting victims of domestic abuse does not end with an arrest. There is strong research that supports ties between domestic violence and depression, suicidal behavior, and physical health issues. Communities can help reduce the stigma and help domestic violence victims form safe new lives with proper support systems, increased job opportunities, and an intensification in awareness. Many of the programs for domestic violence victims in the Philadelphia area are connected with the District Attorney’s Office.

 

“If elected District Attorney,” Beth said “I pledge to handle domestic violence cases with the best-trained staff who understand the complexities of this epidemic. This includes ensuring that our complainants receive support services as well as respectfully considering their input into the outcome of the prosecution of the offender.”

 

Philadelphia Victims Services provides fantastic supports for Victims of Domestic violence, which does not mean we cannot explore how to better help these victims and survivors. “Preventative education about domestic violence should be implemented in our schools.” Beth said. “It is imperative that students know that any type of violence, be it physical, verbal or psychological, in the context of a relationship is not acceptable.”

 

Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline toll free number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-723-3014. Services are free, confidential, and bilingual.

More information online on supports can be found at the Philadelphia Police Department for Victims of Domestic Violence website.