October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Dr. Kathleen O’Brien
Leonardtown, MD 20650
Letter to the Editor:
Evolving from a “Day of Unity” back in October of 1981, October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Walden serves over 500 domestic violence cases annually. We would like to remind you that we are always here to help. Our 24-hour crisis hotline (301-863-6661) has been funded by St. Mary’s county for over 40 years and has taken roughly half a million calls.
Our goal is to offer assistance to individuals and families in crisis to safely stabilize their crisis situation. Walden provides individual and group counseling, court advocacy, hoteling services, and assistance with linkage to safe houses for victims of domestic violence. Walden also continues to collaborate with the Department of Social Service, local hospital and law enforcement agencies to identify victims and family members of abuse via Lethality Assessment Program (LAP) screening, in order to provide support, outreach, information, resources, and service. In addition, Walden works with local elementary schools to implement the Maryland Student Assistance Program (MSAP) to identify and provide a referral, assessment, intervention, and follow-up of “at-risk” students impacted by domestic violence.
Walden’s services are available to anyone with any type of crisis in St. Mary’s county. Our crisis and trauma services can be accessed a few different ways: call our 24-hour crisis hotline (301-863-6661) anytime, connect with one of our collaborative partners, or come in our Hope Place office in Lexington Park for same day walk-in access. “Don’t be a silent victim fooled by so-called love. Say no more to domestic violence” Ty Howard.
Together with our partners in County Government, MedStar St Marys, DSS, the Family Advocacy Center, the State’s Attorney office, the courts, the Sheriff’s department, and State police, we strive to help end domestic violence. We help thousands of our local citizens annually. No matter what the issue, our staff is ready to provide support and assistance. Please call us anytime day or night at (301) 327-2555. We are here to listen.
Thank you for your continued support. We pledge to continue to bring Southern Maryland “Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.”
Kathleen O’Brien, PhD