Funding Announced for Domestic Violence Program at UMMC - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Funding Announced for Domestic Violence Program at UMMC

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BALTIMORE, Md. – Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and U. S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger announced funding for a hospital-based domestic violence program at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).

They made the announcement on Monday.

Lt. Gov. Brown’s office said the program will be funded by a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) and a $20,000 grant from Verizon.

“With the opening of The Bridge Project at the University of Maryland Medical Center, our state’s tenth hospital-based domestic violence screening program, we’re taking another important step towards ending domestic violence in Baltimore and in neighborhoods throughout Maryland,” Lt. Governor Brown said. “Although we’ve driven down violent crime to the lowest levels in three decades, domestic violence continues to impact thousands of families throughout our state, and we will not rest until every Marylander is safe in their home and in their community.”

"If you are beaten and abused, you should have somewhere to turn for help and a path to recovery," Senator Mikulski said. "No woman in this country should live in fear that her husband or boyfriend will hurt or kill her or her kids. I will keep fighting for funds in the federal checkbook to combat domestic abuse, dating violence and sexual assault. By providing robust support for federal grant programs that support local efforts like the Bridge Project, we will help protect women and their families from continued abuse."

The Bridge Project was founded this year under UMMC’s broader, nationally recognized Violence Intervention Program with the mission of breaking the cycle of intimate partner and sexual violence in Baltimore City and its contiguous counties.

The Bridge Project provides hospital-based crisis counseling, safety planning, referrals, and follow-up services to domestic violence victims identified at The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Adult Emergency Department at UMMC. The program assists victims with shelter placement, locating legal assistance and identifying follow-up counseling and other services.

One of the primary objectives of the program is to establish round the clock coverage from on-call domestic violence intervention specialists. The grant funding from the State will enable the hospital to provide these services after hours and on weekends and holidays.

“We are grateful to the State of Maryland and Verizon for their support, which enhances our ability to help victims of domestic violence who come through our doors – not only by attending to their medical needs but also by making counseling, referrals and other assistance available to them around the clock, every day of the year,” Jeffrey A. Rivest said, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “At UMMC, we are not only committed to treatment and healing, but also to prevention. Initiatives such as the Bridge Project offer people immediate assistance and meaningful alternatives that are crucial to helping break the cycle of violence.”

The $20,000 grant started in January 2014. It is being used for emergency housing, client needs, transportation, and some staff training, according to Lt. Gov. Brown’s office.

The UMMC program will be Maryland’s tenth hospital-based domestic violence program designed to meet the goals of the Governor’s 2010 Executive Order, “The Maryland Domestic Violence Health Care Screening and Response Initiative.”

In four years, the Administration has doubled the number of hospital-based domestic violence programs in the state. The programs aim to identify victims at an early stage in the cycle of domestic violence and extend comprehensive services to prevent future physical and emotional injury. Similar programs are currently in place in the Baltimore region at Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Sinai Hospital and Northwest Hospital, as well as Prince George’s Hospital Center and Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown. In March, the Lt. Governor announced the ninth program at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown.


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