A new 15-minute video on domestic violence prevention has been produced by Montgomery County. Two victims (a teenager victim of same sex abuse and a middle-aged woman) each describe their abusive relationship and how they escaped.
The video also highlights work being done by the Sheriff, Family Justice Center, the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Court Watch Montgomery and others to sharply reduce domestic violence in Montgomery County and make sure that once a victim comes to court they are able to stop the violence quickly and permanently. Debbie Feinstein, head of the Special Victims prosecutors unit, describes the heavily attended high school “Choose Respect” conference, which takes place each spring.
Additional challenges that domestic violence victims face in Montgomery County include:
- a dearth of Victim Advocates present at local courts to answer victims’ questions, help them write court petitions, accompany them to their hearing, and link them to needed services;
- a lack of transitional housing after leaving shelter or the family home;
- locations in Down and East County other than the courthouse where victims can “take the first step” and come to ask about their options and get advice; and
- lack of safe services for visitation that are easily accessible in Silver Spring and the Germantown area.