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Maryland receives substantial grant to fight domestic violence

Domestic violence is a pervasive and difficult problem in the state of Maryland. Recent posts here have highlighted how it can strike a broad swath of society, at all levels of income and education. It has been dubbed the "silent killer" because it is so hard for the victims of verbal and physical domestic abuse to openly discuss this issue. However, recently the state of Maryland announced that it received a $375,000 federal grant to help create a new program which will be designed to fight domestic violence on many fronts.

Only six states were selected to receive this grant money. The program is expected to team up with health care providers to better educate health professionals on how to identify a potential victim of domestic violence. In fact, the Maryland Department of Mental Hygiene is reportedly going to use some of the grant money to institute a uniform program designed to assess all patients at their clinics for signs of domestic abuse.

Finally, another new program is also planned which will establish a permanent health services department at certain shelters, such as the House of Ruth, in order to provide better and more immediate care to the victims of domestic abuse.

The state of Maryland vigorously protects the victims of domestic violence by punishing those who perpetrate these crimes. In addition to charging individuals who are alleged to have committed a domestic violence crime, if someone is enduring domestic violence they can immediately seek a Temporary Protection Order through the civil court. A temporary order will be automatically granted to the petitioner, and then a hearing is normally granted within one week in order for the Court to determine if a Final Protection Order should be issued. The court can also address other issues, such as spousal support, child custody and child support at this hearing.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "MD gets $375,000 federal grant to combat domestic violence," Andrea Walker, Jan. 2, 2013

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