Grants extend the hours for UMMC domestic violence program

BALTIMORE, Md. - It may be the last place you want to be, but some patients inside a hospital emergency room would rather stay behind the curtains. 

"The most dangerous place in America for many families is their own home," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, (D) MD. 

The cycle of domestic violence brings needs that are greater than a trauma doctor.

"We've seen our victims not come back to the hospital, which was the whole point of the program to break that cycle of violence," said Roxann Rogers, clinical supervisor of UMMC's Violence Intervention Program.

State and congressional leaders announced two grants to fund around-the-clock care for the University of Maryland's domestic violence program, $50,000 from the state and federal government and $20,000 from Verizon. 

"Are we satisfied?  No.  Not when you have 18,000 plus victims every year in Maryland of domestic violence," said Sen. Ben Cardin, (D) MD.

Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown began fighting for victims of domestic violence when it hit home.

"My family became victim of domestic violence six years ago this month when my cousin Cathy was killed at the hands of her estranged boyfriend," Lt. Gov. Brown said.

The founder of the Violence Intervention Program says no other trauma center in the country has this type of 24/7 care, where the needs are beyond the hospital doors.

"Is there a safe place for them to go, whose going to take care of their kids,” said Dr. Carnell Cooper, Founder, UMMC Violence Intervention Program

Patients are as young as 15.  Seeing them make big changes keeps the frontline workers focused.

"...You see them be able to move from where they are, get their first job, and be happy and smile again and not be scared all the time," Rogers said.    

The Violence Intervention Program gives victims hospital-based counseling, safety planning, referrals and follow-up visits.  The announcement of the grants will allow the hospital to provide the services after hours and on weekends and holidays.

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