Thursday, February 2, 2012

Combating Domestic Violence

     According to the CDC, on average, 24 men and women are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That’s more than 12 million men and women directly affected every year.

     We see these victims first-hand in Meritus Medical Center. Too often, victims are scared or unwilling to share the true cause of their injuries, which is why it is so important for our staff in the emergency department to be on the lookout for signs of abuse and be ready to investigate with the right questions.

     We are proud to announce that Meritus Health has received $50,000 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and $16,000 from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to fund a hospital-based domestic violence prevention program. We are only the sixth hospital in the state of Maryland to start this program, and the first in Western Maryland.

     Joe Ross, president and CEO of Meritus Health, said, “The program will include the standardized use of a domestic violence screening process, staff training and education, and the development of an inter-disciplinary team to create the process for crisis response, evaluation, and safety planning.”

     On January 23, 2012, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown visited Meritus Medical Center to officially award the grant. Below is a video highlighting the press conference.

If you or someone you know is being abused, please call the 24-hour crisis hotline of Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA) at 301.739.8975.

By Kayla Murphy

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