In October 2017, State’s Attorney Braveboy launched the Not One Campaign, an initiative aimed to raise awareness around the realities of domestic violence and empower victims to leave dangerous situations. Domestic violence takes many forms, some subtle and others vividly violent. The goal of the campaign is to educate everyone to understand, that no form of domestic violence is ever acceptable. The Not One Campaign holds events that feature live testimonies from domestic violence survivors, advocates and lawmakers. Each year, this campaign brings people together to talk about this important issue.
We plan to use the new Maryland “lethal violence protective order” law as much as possible to keep guns out of the hands of those in crisis that are likely to use a weapon in a domestic violence incident. Lethal violence protective orders enable families and law enforcement to ask the courts for an order to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns, if they are found to be a risk to themselves or other people.
While domestic abuse is a wide spread issue across the nation, it often still flies under the radar because of the stigma and shame associated with it. Jurisdictions across America have refused to address the need for substantive services because they refuse to acknowledge there is even a problem. Too often, we hear about a tragedy, and say we had no idea this was happening. The fact is that in Prince George’s County, we are addressing the issue. Clearly, more needs to be done. More opportunities are needed for temporary sheltering. More support networks are needed to ensure that victims have people to help them understand they are not alone. More education is needed at early ages to provide character development and respect for the opposite sex and each other.
In Prince George’s County, we understand that domestic violence is both society’s problem and a community issue, not just the problem of the victim. There are people suffering from domestic violence who are silenced and don’t want to talk about it. That is why we have created an environment in which victims can feel more comfortable coming forward. We don’t want you to hide and suffer any more. We want every resident to feel safe and secure. Every resident should feel supported. And when there is pain, we will work to provide the safety net and the network to support you. As long as there are people giving a voice and comfort to victims of domestic violence, people will feel more empowered, more capable, and definitely more able to stand again. They will stand on the shoulders of others, and sometimes need to lean for support, but someday they will stand straight-up, proud, productive, and unafraid of any obstacle before them.