A report by the Montgomery County Councilís Office of Legislative Oversight today revealed gaps in the public response to domestic violence in the County, citing incomplete information and notification about dangerousness of potential abusers, a lack of after-hours access to emergency protective orders, and inadequate resources and supervision of offenders in parts of the system.
The 113-page report, "Improving the Response to Domestic Violence in Montgomery County," was commissioned at the request of former Councilmember Betty Ann Krahnke and Councilmember Phil Andrews. It recommends creation of an Emergency Response Team, access to round-the-clock emergency protective orders, and the treatment of misdemeanor assaults as opportunities to prevent homicides.
"Domestic violence represents an invidious societal cancer," said County Council President Michael Subin. "Gaps in our response to domestic violence are gaps that can injure or kill. Anyone who has worked with domestic violence victims knows that there are not just gaps, but rather gaping holes that cause those victims to be revictimized.
"Weíve improved our system a lot, but we have to tighten up our act Ė to protect the thousands of Montgomery County residents and their families who are victims of domestic violence every year."
County police responded with lights and sirens to almost 8,000 calls of domestic violence last year. The Sheriff served more than 1,500 partner-related Ex Parte protective orders. The Crisis Center handled another 900 requests for assistance from domestic violence victims.
Joining Council President Subin at the reportís release today were Councilmembers Blair Ewing, Marilyn Praisner, and Phil Andrews, County Executive Doug Duncan, Stateís Attorney Douglas Gansler, and County Sheriff Raymond M. Kight.
The gaps identified in the report are
Report recommendations include the following:
The report will go to the Councilís Health and Human Services Committee for a worksession tomorrow at 2 PM.