Over 32,000 domestic violence 911 calls, but there’s still a lot we don’t know: An analysis of Montgomery County, Maryland 911 database

This report examines Montgomery County’s Data base of emergency police calls from 2017-2019 in an
effort to determine whether the 911 calls are appropriately flagged as inter partner violence related,
which would enable government and non-profit domestic violence agencies to identify areas in the
County where IPV is prevalent, establish the degree of violence, provide a baseline for studying trends.
The report finds the current 911 call coding system does not track the total number of emergency calls
related to IP, using non-specific codes that do not adequately describe the type of violence reported, as
well as discrepancies between what is reported by officers on the scene and the resultant coding.

Safe Passage Center is fully open – and it looks great!

safe passages center

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Violence doesn’t stop judge from giving father “tie-breaking vote” on child

domestic violence survivors seek a divorce

When domestic violence survivors seek a divorce, they often run head long into a host of problems that result in an increased risk of violence for them and their children.  Maryland law requires that all decisions regarding custody be made “in the best interests of the child,” yet judges regularly penalize survivors for raising concerns […]

Judge accuses credible domestic violence victim of lying

A District Court judge recently became irritated during a temporary protective order hearing and accused a traumatized petitioner of lying. In her petition, Bridget [name changed] told a credible and all-too-common story: “He was drunk and I had told him I didn’t want to be with him and he said the only way we will […]

Rate at which judges tell respondents to turn in guns varies widely

new Maryland gun laws

It’s the law. When a final protective order is issued in Maryland, all respondents must turn in any guns they possess to the Sheriff’s Office for the duration of the order. The rate at which District Court judges are telling respondents to turn in their guns, however, varies dramatically. One judge last year told respondents […]

New outreach campaign to victims

outreach campaign to victims

A new County outreach campaign to victims in Montgomery County Maryland is placing large signs on buses and in bus shelters reaching out to anyone suffering from domestic violence.  The ads ask “Are you afraid of your partner?”  Ads are  in both English and Spanish and share emergency crisis phone numbers. County Executive Leggett as […]

District Court judge fails to warn respondents to turn in firearms

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department has many important jobs. One of their most important tasks is making sure that respondents who possess firearms turn them into the Sheriff’s Office for the length of their final protective order. Judges also have an important role to play in reminding respondents of the gun turn-in requirement at the […]

No immigration enforcement in courthouses!

immigration enforcement

There should be no immigration enforcement in courthouses if we expect domestic victims to come forward to get the legal protection that can stop their abuse. American Bar Association recently urged Congress to add courthouses to the “sensitive locations” list that guides immigration enforcement of undocumented workers.  This policy is critical if domestic violence survivors […]

Extremely dangerous precedent in TX protective order court

The Washington Post reports that last week (Feb. 2017) half a dozen Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents showed up in a Texas courtroom where an undocumented woman was seeking a protective order against her boyfriend for punching, kicking, choking and attempting to stab her. The agents arrested her. Both the El Paso County Attorney and […]

Court volunteers discuss domestic violence with judges

This week 18 court volunteers spent over an hour discussing the protective order and domestic violence criminal dockets with District Court Administrative Judge Eugene Wolfe, and Judges Mitchell, Moffett, Williams and Sabett. It was a valuable opportunity to more fully understand the court’s approach to domestic violence cases and to share Court Watch’s concerns about […]