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Our Work

Education and Outreach

Our work to educate the community is done in partnership with a variety of organizations whose missions and goals align with ours. This allows us to not only amplify our message, but it helps maintain and improve communication and cooperation among local women’s advocacy organizations. We educate the community through the actions described below.

Seminars

We provide residents with free or low cost seminars on a variety of topics.  Previous seminars have included: issues surrounding divorce and separation, financial literacy, and domestic violence.
Interested in attending a seminar?  Learn more about our offerings HERE

Publications

Our publications cover a variety of topics and are in multiple languages.  We work to update them on a yearly or bi-yearly basis.
Annual Reports 
CFW Summary Page
Informational Brochures
Special Reports 

Montgomery County Women's Archives Project

In 2002, to commemorate its 30th anniversary, we created an archive of the biographies of 30 women whose lives were of historical significance to Montgomery County. In July of 2012, to commemorate its 40th anniversary, the Commission added another 10 biographies, and has added five more since then.

Montgomery County’s Quilt Project

To commemorate its 30 years of service, advocacy and progress, in 2002 a quilt was created for the Montgomery County Commission for Women, featuring 30 women of historical significance to the county. The quilt is composed of 33 squares. Surrounding the central square, a composition commemorating the 30 years of the Commission, thirty two squares are placed. One square commemorates each of the thirty women. In the bottom corners, two squares name the members of the Ad Hoc Committee that recommended the establishment of the Commission for Women in 1972, and the presidents of the Commission from 1972 to 2002.  In 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Commission, another quilt was created featuring 10 more women of historical significance to the county. 

STEM Scholarships

The Commission, in conjunction with the Montgomery College Foundation is pleased to announce the establishment of the STEM Scholarship to support students pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The $10,500 endowment, funded by individual gifts, will support current Montgomery College students now and in the future. Beginning in the Fall of 2015, eligible students may apply for a $500 scholarship. As the endowment matures, future students will receive scholarship awards through the interest earned on the endowment.

Students interested in the scholarship may learn more at:  https://montgomerycollege.academicworks.com/users/sign_in

 

Advocacy

Advocacy is at the heart of everything that we do.  Our founding legislation charges us with the responsibility of advising the public, county executive, county council, and the agencies of the county, state and federal governments on the issues of concern to women. Advocacy projects vary based on the needs of the community, resources, and skills/abilities of the Commissioners.

Prevention of human trafficking and organizing the Women’s Legislative Briefing are our current priorities.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking has long been an issue in Montgomery County, in Maryland, nationally and internationally.  Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others (Polaris Project).  There are generally two forms of trafficking: sex and labor. Victims of human trafficking include men, women, boys and girls.  Your next door neighbor may be a victim OR perpetrator of human trafficking.

The Polaris Project, a national non-profit that assists human trafficking victims, does an excellent job of collecting statistics by state.  Recent Maryland statistics can be found  here.

Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force
In 2014, County Executive Ike Leggett created the Montgomery County Human Trafficking Task Force. The purpose of the task force is to increase understanding of the issue in Montgomery County and to develop interagency coordination of strategies for response and 
prevention. Overarching goals include:


Human trafficking girl image

 

 

  1. Increasing the identification and prosecution of all parties supporting the  organized crime of human trafficking to include   traffickers, suppliers, transporters, advertisers and demand elements;
  2. Elimination of human trafficking, and
  3. Improving identification of and services for human trafficking victims


    The following organizations are members of Montgomery County’s Human Trafficking Task force:

Legislative Sub-Committee

The legislative chair is  Andrea Nunez , Legislative Aide for Councilperson Tom Hucker.   Andrea.Nunez@montgomerycountymd.gov

The legislative committee is responsible for researching best practices within the criminal justice system to combat human trafficking. The committee meets six times a year.

County Bill 9-15, Health and Sanitation—Bodywork Establishment—License. The bill was signed into law April 22, 2015. The legislative sub-committee worked with the entire task force to introduce and implement County Bill 9-15. The law is the first of its kind in Maryland, and requires a license to operate a bodywork establishment in the county.  Bodyworks establishments are businesses that advertise bodywork services, such as reflexology, acupressure and other practices that fall outside the Maryland State definition of massage, or where any employee, agent or contractor performs bodywork on an individual. The law ensures that legal establishments can operate while providing enforcement against illegal establishments.  Licenses are issued through the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). 

Enforcement is done by DHHS and the Montgomery County Police Department.

County bill 39-15 was also established to deter human trafficking in the county.  Bill 39-15  makes purchasing prostitution a violation of county law. Although selling or buying prostitution violates the current State Criminal Law prohibiting solicitation of prostitution, Bill 39-15 adds an alternative law enforcement mechanism for the police to combat human trafficking in the County. A person is often forced to work as a prostitute by human traffickers at a young age. The bill authorizes a police officer to issue either a civil or criminal citation to the customer for purchasing prostitution in the county. A civil citation would be prosecuted by the County Attorney's Office and could result in a maximum fine of $500 for a first violation and $750 for subsequent violations. A criminal citation would be prosecuted by the State's Attorney and could result in both a fine up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The bill would be enforceable only against the customer. The bill was signed into law on November 25, 2015.

 


Bill 9-15
Councilmembers Rice, Leventhal, Navarro and Katz join County Executive Ike Leggett as he signs the “Body Works” bill.

Education and Outreach Sub-Committee


Request a speaker
Are you looking for a speaker to talk about human trafficking?  We have speakers that may be able to attend your event free of charge.  Please fill out this form.

The education and outreach committee is responsible for educating the community about human trafficking. The chair is Wendy Stickle, Director of Undergraduate Programs, University of Maryland, Shady Grove.  wstickle@umd.edu


Victim Services Sub-Committee

This committee coordinates services for victims in the county.  The victim services committee is co-chaired by:
Nadja Soares Pereira Cabello, L.C.S.W.-C., Manager, Trauma Services: Abused Persons Program and Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program
Nadja.cabello@montgomerycountymd.gov

Amanda Parsad, LCSW
Anti-Human Trafficking Program Coordinator
Ayuda, Inc.
 

All subcommittees meet 6 times a year.

Direct Service

The Commission no longer provides individual or group counseling as it once did.  Instead, we are pleased to partner with the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation  to provide specialized services to women who are re-entering the community after serving prison time.
 
Women leaving prison face a multitude of challenges, including: finding and sustaining employment, family reunification, sustaining healthy relationships, and improving self-esteem.
 
Our women’s support group aims to be a safe environment for women to gather and feel supported as they navigate the hurdles faced after being incarcerated. Our group will take place weekly on Saturday mornings at 10am and will include a variety of topics and speakers relevant to women with re-entry needs including:

  • Mending Relationships
  • Motivation: Staying on Track
  • Self-Esteem and Personal Power
  • How to Reach my Goals
  • Job Readiness
  • Communication and Assertiveness

 
If you or someone you know is interested in participating please fill out this form.  Or, conatct Amy Meldau, Re-Entry Program Director, at (240) 777-8302 for more information.

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