Domestic Violence


Action to support preventing initial and repeat occurrences of violence against spouses, domestic partners, the elderly, and children. - Action to support a strong statewide response to violence that is integrated, interdisciplinary, and adequately funded, involving all segments of the law-enforcement and judicial systems, the medical community, the schools, social services, animal care and control agencies, and the private sector, with a primary focus on the safety of victims. (2000)

Background: These positions result from concurrence with proposed positions developed by a resource committee formed by LWVMD board. The 1999 LWVMD Convention considered the board's recommendation for a full study of Domestic Violence, with consensus to follow: Delegates decided, instead, to adopt a study with concurrence because of concerns that we be able to testify on legislation in the 2000 General Assembly.
Domestic Violence is “abuse that may be physical, psychological, and/or economic, affecting all socio-economic, religious, ethnic and social groups, including spouses, partners, children and the elderly.”
Support For: 
  1. Counseling for abused women, children and batterers.
  2. A “seamless response” to domestic violence throughout the state.
  3. Early intervention where child behavior may signify abuse.
  4. Programs to sensitize police and judicial personnel, health care providers, mental health workers, social service workers, businesses, community groups, educators, and veterinarians and animal care workers to indicators of abuse.
  5. Adequate funding of domestic violence programs.
  6. Forceful implementation of laws.
  7. Safe homes to meet the needs of elderly victims.
  8. Facilities for pets who are not permitted in shelters.
  9. Research to develop programs and laws which will stop domestic violence.
  • Supported (in conjunction with the Network Against Domestic Violence and the Family Violence Council, now called the Forum Against Domestic Violence) legislation allowing enforcement of out-of-state protective orders in Maryland. (2001 – achieved)
  • Supported legislation establishing aggravated cruelty to animals as a felony, and requiring psychological counseling for convicted offenders. (2001 – achieved)
  • Supported enabling courts to consider a victim's request that, as a condition of pre-trial release, the alleged abuser have no contact with the victim. (2001 – achieved)
  • Opposed bills to treat Domestic Violence less seriously than current practice. (2001 – defeated)
  • Supported the 24/7 access bill which empowers District Court Commissioners to issue interim civil orders of protection when courts are not open—weekends, holidays, evenings (2002—achieved)
  • Supported a bill which makes stalking much easier to prosecute. (2003 – achieved)
  • Supported closing a loophole in the rape shield as it applies to sexual child abuse cases. (2003 –achieved)
  • Supported strengthening the basis for prosecuting domestic violence, including “No Means No.” (2004-05 – not achieved)
  • Supported legislation to extend duration of protective orders to a year or more. (2006-07 – not achieved)
  • Supported legislation to allow judges to order a respondent under a Protective Order (PO) to surrender firearms. (Passed – 2009)