Nearly 1,200 domestic violence victims are murdered by their intimate partners in the U.S. each year. In Maryland, 37 domestic violence victims were killed by a current or former intimate partner between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. It is a sobering statistic.
The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, in partnership with theJeanne Geiger Crisis Center of Massachusetts, and Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON), has received a Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative award from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder announced the initiative.
This award will be used replicate the Maryland Network’s Lethality Assessment Program and the Geiger Center’s Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) models in communities across the country. Both are promising practices in homicide prevention based on the foundational research of Campbell’s Danger Assessment.
“Abused women who used domestic violence services were almost never the victim of murder or attempted murder. We know we can save lives by connecting high-risk victims with these services and holding perpetrators accountable,” said Campbell, Anna D. Wolf Chair at JHUSON. “The Danger Assessment enables first responders to make that crucial connection when it is needed most.”
The Lethality Assessment Program helps first responders assess a domestic violence victim’s risk of being killed and links the victim to domestic violence services. Law enforcement agencies and domestic violence programs in every Maryland jurisdiction have implemented the program.
“The Initiative will give us … the best opportunity we have ever had to effectively allow high-risk victims of domestic violence to be safer, more secure, and in charge of their own lives,” said Dave Sargent of the Maryland Network.
The DVHRT includes representatives from local victim services, law enforcement, state’s attorneys’ offices, and hospitals who identify domestic violence victims at the greatest risk of being re-assaulted or killed and develops individualized intervention plans. DVHRTs have been implemented in 26 jurisdictions in Massachusetts.
“[The award] provides a great opportunity for us to collaborate with two nationally known organizations to provide best practices to other communities in ways that are proven to help save lives,” said Suzanne Dubus, CEO of the Geiger Center.
Watch a recent WJZ news segment on domestic violence featuring One Love and Jacquelyn Campbell.
Learn more about the JHUSON Department of Community-Public Health.