Maryland Assistance Program For Victims Of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is a violent crime in Maryland that occurs between family or household members. Given the close relation between the perpetrator and victim in these cases, Maryland established a special assistance program. The Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (the “Executive Director”) is responsible for administering this program, which provides victims of domestic violence with necessary help and services to escape abuse.
Definition of Victim of Domestic Violence
The definition of a victim of domestic violence appears under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-513. This term refers to any person who
- Received deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical harm; or
- Has imminent fear of deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical harm; and
- Suffered such harm or fear of harm from a current or former spouse/cohabitant or similarly related individual.
Policy of Domestic Violence Victim Program
The legislative policy of the victim of domestic violence program appears under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-514. The General Assembly created this program based on findings that many victims of domestic violence:
- Leave their residence to protect their life, safety, and welfare;
- Depend upon their abuser financially and have trouble securing alternate housing; and
- Suffer historically from a lack of access to necessary services, such as counseling, emergency housing, and other forms of assistance.
Elements of Domestic Violence Victim Program
The elements of the victim of domestic violence program appear under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-515. In every major population center in Maryland, the Executive Director must ensure that this program provides victims of domestic violence with access to:
- Temporary shelter;
- Assistance with securing shelter;
- Rehabilitation; and
It is important to note that Section 4-515 prohibits the state from providing housing to out-of-state residents. Only Maryland residents may secure housing under this section.
Funding of Domestic Violence Victim Program
The funding regulations of the victim of domestic violence program appear under Maryland Code of Family Law Section 4-516. In addition to allocation of funds under the state budget, the Executive Director must attempt to secure funding from other sources to run the program. Under this section, additional funding for program can come from:
- The U.S. federal government;
- Local government entities; and
- Private sources.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about domestic violence in Maryland, it can be highly beneficial to speak with a seasoned Bel Air domestic violence attorney. The attorneys at Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered have more than 60 years of combined legal experience in family and criminal law, including domestic violence. If you need legal help, contact us today for an initial consultation.