overnor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today highlighted the importance of Domestic Violence Awareness month with a roundtable to discuss domestic violence in Maryland. The Governor and Lt. Governor hosted 14 law enforcement, non-profit, government, and community partners to discuss the importance of working collaboratively to prevent domestic violence and reach out to help its victims.
"Over the last six years, we've worked together with our partners to protect victims and give law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim advocates the tools they need. Together, we surpassed our goal to reduce violent crimes committed against women and children by 25 percent by 2012," said Governor O'Malley. "These are major, life-saving accomplishments, but even one violent crime is too many, no matter the victim's gender or age. That's why we've set a new goal of further reducing violent crime against women and children by another 25 percent."
In 2007, the O'Malley-Brown Administration set a goal of driving down violent crimes committed against women and children by 25 percent by the end of 2012. And because of the hard work of law enforcement and all of our partners we have achieved the following milestones:
In 2012, Maryland drove down female homicides 17.1 percent from 76 victims in 2006 to 63 victims in 2012
In 2012, juvenile homicides were down 54 percent from 50 victims in 2006 to 23 victims in 2012
Combined, the state surpassed its goal last year driving down female and juvenile homicides 31.7 percent since 2006.
Building on these successes, the Administration has set a new strategic goal: Reduce violent crimes committed against women and children by an additional 25 percent by the end of 2018.
"While we've made tremendous progress in protecting women and children from domestic violence, there is still a lot of work left to be done," said Lt. Governor Brown. "The men and women we met with today have already helped us take guns out of the hands of abusers, expand our hospital-based domestic violence screening programs, implement a life-saving Lethality Assessment Program for law enforcement, and provide unemployment insurance for victims. I remain committed to partnering with them and continuing our work to end domestic violence throughout Maryland."
Discussion at the Roundtable focused on ways to continue moving forward. Issues discussed included how agencies are working together collaboratively to ensure the success of the Lethality Assessment Program (LAP), the emergency needs of providers and current gaps in service that prevent us from saving lives and how the VINE (Victim Information & Notification Everyday) Protective Order (VPO) program has been effective in safety planning for victims. VPO is an automated notification system that provides protective order case information to petitioners, victim advocates, and law enforcement.