Domestic Violence

If you are in danger, call 9-1-1, and get help immediately.

Use the directory of Domestic Violence Services to find an organization in your county that can help.

General Domestic Violence Articles

Under Maryland law any health practitioner, police officer, or human service worker who has reason to believe that a vulnerable adult is in danger is required to report that fact to the local department of social services. Any concerned person may make such a report.
Domestic violence is a health issue as well as a legal and social problem. Both physical and emotional abuse can create immediate and long term health problems for you and your children.
These clues are certainly not definite signs of an abusive relationship, only that there is the potential to become one. Much of the information that we have comes from already identified abusive relationships.
Dating violence is an increasingly common problem. Teenagers subjected to dating violence often slip through the cracks of the legal system.
Domestic violence is the mistreatment of one family member or intimate partner by another. The abuse can be physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and psychological.

Protective Orders and Peace Orders

This article provides an overview of how the Peace Order and Protective Order differ from one another.
This section further describes how the Maryland law defines the type of people eligible for legal protection.
If you have a protective order from another state or Native American tribal court, your protective order is entitled to full faith and credit in Maryland. This means that Maryland courts and police have to enforce the order. You can also ask another state to enforce your Maryland protective order.
This article provides an overview of Extreme Risk Protective Orders (ERPO). An ERPO is a court order that temporarily requires a person to surrender any firearms or ammunition to law enforcement and not purchase or possess firearms or ammunition.
The Peace Order is a form of legal protection for anyone who is experiencing problems with an individual, including someone in a dating relationship, a neighbor, a stranger, or anyone else.
This article addresses frequently asked questions for peace orders.
These are the questions that you should be prepared to answer when you have your final protective order hearing.
There is a two or three-step process that you must follow to get a domestic violence Protection Order against your abuser.
This article addresses frequently asked question for protective orders.
Under certain circumstances, you may file a written request to remove from public view the court records relating to a Protective Order or a Peace Order.

Legal Options

This article describes the federal crimes that pertain to domestic violence.
This article describes the options for criminal charges a victim may wish to pursue against an abuser.
Protective Orders can provide housing protections. Maryland laws also give victims of domestic violence in rental housing added protections.
The law and history of interspousal immunity in Maryland.
Court records are generally open and accessible to the public. This article provides information on how to seal or shield your case records from public view.
This article lists the causes of actions in civil court that a victim may bring against an abuser.
Maryland Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) Service and all Maryland courts that have implemented the Maryland Electronic Filing and Case Management (MDEC) system provide crime victims, victim advocates, and other concerned citizens free offender information and hearing notification.
Law enforcement officers are a critical link in the survival of a victim of domestic violence. All law enforcement entities in Maryland provide extensive training and guidelines on domestic violence.
This article outlines a number of tips for working with an attorney when you have been abused.

Non-Legal Support

Violence by an intimate partner can be a serious problem in keeping a job. There are both federal and state laws that provide protection for victims of crimes in the workplace.
This article gives advice on how to guide your friend toward services that can be of assistance.
This article describes how children are affected by domestic violence and steps parents can take to keep their children safe.

Safety Issues

This is a model plan to prepare for the possibility for future violence.
How to keep your pet safe in a Domestic Violence situation
Advance preparation and planning can help to protect you if abuse occurs.
This article provides options for where a victim should go after deciding to leave an abuser.
There are many steps you can take to try to keep your personal information private.
When you leave, it is important to take certain items with you. Some people give an extra copy of papers and an extra set of clothing to a friend just in case they have to leave quickly. Plan to put these items in one place so you can grab them quickly.