Programs & Services
Are you or have you experienced abuse in your intimate relationship?
You can call our free and confidential 24-hour hotline to inquire about receiving help provided by specially trained advocates through our Empowerment Center. WC&S Advocates will help you explore your feelings and understand your options. Our Advocates can offer you the option of attending support groups to learn the dynamics of abuse, to gain support from other victims' and successes, and to grow stronger through shared experiences.
Empowerment Center Support Groups
You Are Not Alone – Tuesdays and Wednesdays
A support group for those women interested in connecting with other women and working through the healing process.
CYF Mom’s Group – Tuesdays
A support group to assist moms involved in the CYF (Children, Youth, and Families) system through education about the effects of Domestic Violence on children and healthy discipline strategies.
Domestic Violence 101 – Thursdays
This support group focuses on domestic violence education in a supportive and nurturing environment.
If you are interested in learning more about our support groups and how you may become involved in one, please call Women’s Center & Shelter’s 24-hour hotline at 412-687-8005. All services are free and confidential.
WC&S Advocates also can offer free, confidential sessions for "Significant Others" --those relatives of domestic violence victims who are struggling with trauma of what has happened to their loved one.
You do not have to be alone when you go to court to seek justice from the legal system and your abuser.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, Women's Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh's Advocacy department provides free and confidential court accompaniment, support, information, and advocacy as progress through the legal system.
You may be able to obtain immediate, court-mandated protection through a civil Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order, regardless of whether criminal charges are filed against your abuser. The PFA order can do any or all of the following:
- Order the abuser to stop the violent behavior and refrain from harassing, contacting, or stalking you;
- Exclude the abuser from your residence;
- Grant temporary custody of your minor children to you;
- Order payment to you of temporary support and out-of-pocket losses;
- Order the abuser to turn over weapons to the police.
You can obtain a PFA Order at any times as follows:
On Weekdays between 9:00 Am and 11:00 Am
Go to Allegheny County Family & Juvenile Court
440 Ross Street, Room 3030
The Court’s PFA Unit staff and domestic violence program advocates will be available to assist and support you in filing a PFA Petition without any charge to you.
If you are not able to safely wait to get to Family Court on a weekday between 9:00 Am and 11:00 Am, Emergency PFA Orders are available and you can obtain one at either:
Magisterial District Judge’s Office in your community on any afternoon that the office is open; or
Allegheny Night Court (412-350-3240), 660 First Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 on weekdays anytime EXCEPT 9:00 Am to 11:00 Am and 24 hours/day on weekends and holidays.
If you have a PFA Order that is being violated:
- You should call 911 immediately for police who may be able to arrest the defendant for violating the PFA Order.
- If the police do not arrest the defendant immediately, you can take a copy of your PFA Order the either your local District Judge’s office or to Night Court to file a Complaint for Indirect Criminal Contempt for Violation of a PFA Order.
- An arrest warrant may then be issues so that the defendant may be arrested.
If your abuser is in the Allegheny County Jail and you would like to be notified of his release, please call The Center for Victim's 24 hour Helpline at 412-392-8582. If the abuser is in the PA State Prison system, please call 1-800-322-4472.
The U.S. Department of Justice reports that 37 percent of all women who sought care in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries were injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend.
If you have ever gone to the hospital or your doctor for the injuries you received at the hands of your partner, or if you were too afraid to tell you doctor about what is happening to you, you are not alone.
WC&S Medical Advocates provide training for professionals within the healthcare system in an effort to enhance the healthcare system's response to domestic violence. Advocates educate doctors, nurses and others on how to tell if a woman who is seeking medical treatment is being abused, and how to work with woman so that she feels comfortable in sharing with them what is happening to her. WC&S Advocates train those professionals to make referrals to our agency, so that a woman can access the WC&S services that she needs.
We deliver the nationally-recognized Hands are Not for Hurting® curriculum that teaches violence prevention and intervention to children in Head Start through 12th grade. These efforts are aimed at ending the destructive intergenerational cycle of violence. The Hands are Not for Hurting® curriculum is available for purchase by domestic violence programs and schools. If you are interested in learning more about this effective curriculum, please call the Education Director at 412-687-8017 extension 341.
The WC&S Training Center provides accredited trainings on the scope and dynamics of domestic violence to professionals who work with victims of domestic violence, including therapists, child protective services workers, school and healthcare personnel, Employee Assistance Programs, businesses and corporations. Trainings on topics such as workplace violence or effects on children can be tailored to meet the needs of your company or organization.
Community educators provide specialized domestic violence educational presentations to any interested community group (organizations, churches, etc.).
If you have questions about any of our educational services, including specialized trainings, please call the Education Department at 412-687-8017 extension 341.