The scars of domestic violence are often deeper than those from other types of trauma. Prolonged abuse that occurs in the home, the place where we are supposed to feel safe, leaves a different kind of scar. Abuse may be emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, and/or sexual.
Laurel House provides individual counseling services to anyone 14 and older who is experiencing, or has experienced, domestic abuse, as well as minors 14 and older affected by witnessing domestic abuse in their homes. Our counseling services help to:
- Assess the danger of the situation
- Focus on developing and putting into place a safety plan
- Connect the victim/survivor with needed resources
- Offer emotional support and domestic violence education
All counseling sessions are conducted by a professional counselor, social worker, or a Master's level student who is supervised by a licensed professional counselor (LPC) or licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Currently, all individual counseling sessions are virtual.
Join with other survivors who have been impacted by this type of abuse and want to have their voices heard and understood, learn about the dynamics of abuse and trauma, build trusting relationships, and connect with others in a support group facilitated by a counseling professional. It is helpful and validating to share with others and know you are not alone. It is not necessary to be receiving individual counseling from Laurel House to participate in our groups. However, a meeting with a counselor beforehand is required. Currently, all our support group sessions are virtual.
Gender Neutral support group for adults is offered on Monday evenings.
Women Only support groups are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Mature Women's support group is offered on Monday evenings.
To make an appointment, or for more information about counseling services, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Counseling Department via phone or text at (215) 915-5125 or (215) 205-5311.
Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART)
Recognizing that law enforcement and health care professionals are often the first point of contact for domestic violence victims, Laurel House started the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) Program in 2005.
DART advocates are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They partner with local police departments and health care professionals by responding to the scene of an incident in which a domestic abuse victim is in crisis. This immediate response includes: crisis counseling, safety planning, resource referrals, assistance with the Protection from Abuse Order process, and follow-up services. A DART advocate can be contacted 24/7 by law enforcement or medical personnel at 215-852-9826.
In addition to crisis response, DART Advocates are available to provide comprehensive domestic violence training to local police departments, the District Attorney’s office, and other service providers. For more information about DART, or to schedule a training, please contact Cortney Marengo, Director of Community Outreach, at 610-277-1860 ext. 120.
The medical advocacy program was established to build and maintain relationships with local healthcare sites to improve domestic violence awareness, outreach, and advocacy. The relationship between domestic violence agencies and the healthcare community is crucial, given how many people seek medical attention of some kind, even if they do not report abuse to the police. Our program is dedicated in its efforts to improve healthcare's response to domestic violence survivors and their needs.
The Laurel House Medical Advocate visits hospitals, primary care offices, and other specialty care facilities to provide free staff trainings on a range of topics. We train providers on how to respond if a patient discloses abuse, as well as common domestic violence-related injuries that medical professionals may encounter, such as strangulation, traumatic brain injuries, reproductive coercion, substance abuse, and behavioral health.
To date, the medical advocacy program has provided trainings to over 400 medical professionals and has partnerships with over 20 medical practices across Montgomery County.
If you are a medical professional interested in receiving staff training, please complete this form.
Children are the secondary victims of domestic violence and often feel responsible for causing the abuse. To assist children in dealing with the trauma of exposure to violence at home, our Family Advocate offers individual and group activities to help children learn the skills to cope with their environment and resolve conflicts without violence.
In addition to their direct work with children, the Family Advocate also works with the parents in our Shelter to assist them in addressing their children’s emotional needs. Some examples include: helping parents with understanding children’s reactions to abuse, non-violent disciplinary techniques, understanding child development, as well as referring parents and children to schools and social service agencies as appropriate. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com