Charles Perry Gallun, victims' rights advocate

Charles Perry Gallun
Charles Perry Gallun
Posted: March 11, 2013

Charles Perry Gallun, 71, of Germantown, a social worker and victims' rights advocate who pioneered treatment for perpetrators of domestic violence, died Thursday, March 7, at home.

The cause was complications of lung cancer, according to his family.

Mr. Gallun, who grew up in West Philadelphia and was known to his friends as "Chuck," worked for more than 30 years at Creative Health Services, a behavioral health-care provider in Pottstown.

Known for his sense of humor, Mr. Gallun liked to tell people that he met his future wife, Priscilla Becroft, in jail - they spotted each other at Holmesburg Prison, where they both worked for the Philadelphia Prisons System. They were married for nearly 35 years.

"He was always joking about everything," she said.

Mr. Gallun decided to get a master's degree in sociology at Temple University and pursue a career in mental-health services while he was working in the 1970s as a computer-systems administrator at Sun Oil Co.

"His heart was somewhere else," his wife said.

At Creative Health Services, Mr. Gallun developed an unusual police liaison program in which he rode along with officers to domestic-abuse crime scenes, where he counseled victims and perpetrators and referred them to agencies.

A controversial program he helped initiate was the SAFE Project (Stop Abuse Foster Empowerment), treatment for men who had been arrested for abusing their spouses.

In a 1998 Inquirer article, Mr. Gallun said abusive men who went through the program were less likely to reoffend.

The article captured the incongruous scene at the Pottstown Police Department, where the ponytailed social worker with pink-tinted eyeglasses and leather sandals worked alongside officers.

"I get satisfaction out of helping people," Mr. Gallun said. "There's a lot of variety in the work, and I'm appreciated here."

A gravel-voiced former member of the Army Intelligence Corps, Mr. Gallun was a devoted folk-music fan. He was a member of the Philadelphia Folksong Society and volunteered for many years at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.

His autobiography on the Creative Health Services website displays a sample of his wit. Asked whether he had any hidden talents, Mr. Gallun replied: "I can make funny noises that amuse babies."

The bio also included a self-written epitaph: "When I die, this is what I want remembered about me: That I was a good husband, father, and friend."

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Lucy Gallun; sons Michael Gomberg and Joshua Gallun; a sister, Fran Gallun; and three grandchildren.

A service was planned for 3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10, at Green Street Friends Meeting, 45 W. School House Lane, Philadelphia.

Donations can be made to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 6400 Flank Dr., Harrisburg, Pa. 17112.


Contact Andrew Maykuth

at 215-854-2947, amaykuth@phillynews.com, or follow @Maykuth on Twitter.

 

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