Baltimore churches seek to bring domestic violence to light

Every day, men and women across Maryland live in fear of domestic violence. Though the number of reported domestic violence cases in Maryland has decreased, many believe this number is misleading and that several cases simply go unreported. For this reason, local judges and churches in Baltimore are seeking to bring domestic violence issues to light by talking to community members, congregations and synagogues about the issue. According to one district judge, many people feel more comfortable talking to a religious figure about their abuse than they do talking to law enforcement.

While this effort is helpful and laudable, the fact remains that only the law may be the best way to provide domestic abuse victims with the protection they need. When an argument gets heated and tempers flare, a violent outburst can result. Victims of these instances should seek an Ann Arundel County Domestic Violence Lawyer who can help navigate the process of obtaining protection.

A victim of domestic violence can seek one of two types of protection: a protective order or a peace order. A protective order prohibits contact by a husband or wife, someone with whom a victim has a child with, or someone with whom they lived for at least 90 days prior to the domestic violence incident. A peace order, on the other hand, protects against any other abusive individual including a neighbor or an acquaintance.

Once a protective order is given by a judge, the victim can uphold that order for up to one year. Once the year is up, the victim can seek to renew the order. Interim orders, given when courts are closed, and temporary orders, which are heard within 48 hours, may be issued very quickly. Even permanent protective orders are usually heard within seven days, meaning a domestic abuse victim can get the protection she needs quickly.

When a domestic dispute puts an individual and her family in danger, protection should be sought immediately. Too much is at risk to delay. A Baltimore County domestic violence lawyer can help ensure the domestic violence is put to a stop.

Source: CBS Baltimore, “Local Judges, Churches Vie To Bring Domestic Violence Out Of Shadows,” Mike Schuh, May 30, 2013

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