October 17, 2016
Dear Friends,
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I've compiled important phone numbers and resources for victims of domestic violence, abuse, and human trafficking in this email. I pray that you and your loved ones will never need these resources, but know that the unfortunate reality is that you or someone you know is affected. I urge you to keep this email for reference and to share these resources with your friends and family.

Domestic Violence awareness events are taking place throughout the County this month. Click here for a full list compiled by the Office of the Sheriff.

In June 2016,  we opened the Prince George's County Family Justice Center. Located next to the Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, at 14757 Main Street, the Family Justice Center brings together services from 19 providers to help abuse victims and their children in a single facility.

Services include safety planning, counseling, legal assistance, and social services to help victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, teen relationship violence, and elder abuse.

There are no fees for services. No appointments are necessary. Clients are welcome to return to the Family Justice Center for additional services as often as needed. The Family Justice Center is a safe and secure building. You can reach the Family Justice Center at 301-780-8008.

Myth: Domestic violence does not affect many people
Fact: Domestic violence affects approx. 1 million people in the US every year. 85% of the victims are women. In FY2015 PGC Office of the Sheriff received 15,245 peace/protective orders.

The Prince George's County Sheriff's Office Special Victim Assistants Unit provides numerous services for victims of domestic violence. The program offers support and assistance and is designed to aid victims through the court process. The Sheriff's Office can assist you in filing for a protective order. A protective order is a court order that instructs one individual to stay away from another individual. There are three types:  Interim, Temporary and Final. Visit the Family Justice Center or call 301-780-8600.

Myth: Domestic violence is just a momentary loss of temper.
Fact: The abuser makes a conscious decision to abuse. Loss of temper is a tool to enforce control through fear and it is a part of the pattern of abuse.
The Prince George's County Department of Family Services Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Supportive Services Division has a Housing Resource Center. They can help with safety planning, relocation assistance, legal advocacy and navigating the public housing system. Call 301-265-8423 for more information.

Myth: Drinking or drug abuse causes domestic violence.
Fact: Some abusers make alcohol and drugs and excuse for violent behavior. While there is a correlation between substance abuse and domestic violence, one does not cause the other. However, substance abuse does lower inhibitions and may increase the frequency and severity of abuse.

The Maryland District Court Self-Help Resource Centers provides free limited legal services for people who are not represented by an attorney. They will assist with domestic violence cases. They do not represent you, but help you represent yourself. They take walk-ins Monday-Friday from 8:00am until 4:30pm or you can call 410-260-1392.

Myth: If the abuser is truly sorry and promises to reform, the abuse will stop.
Fact: Remorse and begging for forgiveness are manipulative methods used by abusers to control their victims. Abusers rarely stop abusing. In fact, the abuse will almost always get worse as time goes on.

Still I Rise  is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit community-based organization for women and teenage girls. Their mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment where women and teenage girls have an opportunity to heal their hurts through faith-based outreach programs and support services designed to rehabilitate and empower.

House of Ruth Maryland leads the fight to end violence against women and their children by confronting the attitudes, behaviors, and systems that perpetuate it, and by providing victims with the services necessary to rebuild their lives safely and free of fear. 24-hour hotline: 410-889-7884

FAIR Girls FAIR Girls' direct services program offers each client 24/7 access to supportive counseling and services. Longer-term, FAIR Girls creates an individualized plan with each survivor. Support includes counseling, medical and legal referrals, job readiness and job finding support, leadership workshops, therapeutic art, yoga, and more. Crisis hotline: 1-855-900-3247

Community Advocates for Family and Youth (CAFY) is a non-profit providing victim advocacy and support services, crisis intervention, and community education programs that address the causes and impacts of all types of violence and crime. Their mission is to help individuals, families, and communities survive the trauma and receive the help and healing they need. Contact: 301-390-4092

Myth: Victims have personalities that seek out and encourage abuse.
Fact: There is no set of personality traits that universally describes all victims of domestic violence. It's the abuser who is responsible for the abuse, not the victim.

It is my sincere hope that you or a loved one will never need this information. But if you do, then I hope it will be useful. If you know of any resource I missed, please let me know so I can update this on my website.
As always, never hesitate to reach out to me at CouncilDistrict3@co.pg.md.us or 301-952-3060. You can reach my staff via the same phone number or their email address on the right.
Together Strengthening our Community,
P.S. I share news and updates daily on social media. If you are active on social media, too, please engage with me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter
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Important #s

If you are in immediate danger, call 911

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Teen Dating Violence Hotline
1-866-331-9474 or text "loveis" to 22522

Local Family Crisis Center
1-866-382-7474 or 301-731-1203

Prince George's County Family Justice Center

Fair Girls (Human Trafficking)
1-855-900-3247 or 202-265-1505

Crisis, Suicide, Domestic Violence and Homeless Prevention
 Information and Resources: Dial 211

Contact Us!

Wanda Brooks 
Citizen Services Specialist:
Kenny Carter
Policy Assistant:
C. Angel Dureke
Scheduler &
Administrative Assistant:
Thomas Mayah
Citizen Services Assistant:
Aimee Olivo 
Chief of Staff:
Alina Smith
Latino Liaison:

If you have received this e-news from someone other than my office, and are interested in receiving this update directly, please email Thomas Mayah at the District 3 Council Office at tsmayah@co.pg.md.us or call (301) 952-3060.