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Maryland police to step up the fight against domestic abuse

In 2010, there were close to 18,000 domestic violence crimes reported in the state of Maryland. Recently, the Maryland police department announced that it was going to take additional measures to curb the instances of domestic violence that continue to plague the state. The measures include a plan to place domestic abuse investigation coordinators at each of the 22 police barracks in the state. The goal of this program is to specifically target repeat offenders in order to break the vicious cycle that is perpetuated in many cases of domestic abuse. The victims of domestic abuse will be provided with a counselor to further assist them so they will not be victims again.

According to reports, Carroll County has seen an average of 432 domestic violence cases from 2006 to 2010. During that same period, Baltimore County averaged the highest number of domestic violence cases in the state of Maryland with 4,490. It is a pervasive and difficult issue to tackle, as many victims remain silent for far too long.

Fortunately, any individual who is the victim of domestic abuse can file for a temporary protection order from the court. A temporary order will be granted immediately upon the petitioner's request, and then a hearing is normally granted within one week. The court will address this request on an emergency basis and will issue a temporary order of protection. It will then set a hearing for a final order of protection, which generally is heard within approximately one week from the initial filing. At the final hearing, the judge can address a litany of issues that may be of concern to the victim of abuse, including temporary custody of any children residing with the abuser, temporary orders to provide child support payments, visitation arrangements and temporary spousal support.

Source: carrollcountytimes.com, "MSP fighting against domestic violence," Brett Lake, Jan. 30, 2013

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