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Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin of Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby

Domestic violence became a part of Pennsylvania law on Dec. 6, 1976. It was difficult to accept the fact that ongoing and accepted behavior between spouses in long-term marriages that had gone on for decades was now a civil tort. In other words, while Pennsylvania was the second state (commonwealth) to adopt a domestic violence law, the penalties for being found to have abused one’s spouse or housemate were not criminal penalties. While somebody who punched his neighbor might go to jail, someone who slapped his wife would be put out of the house for up to one year.

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