Police: Victim assistance, domestic violence & child abuse
Few events in someone’s life are more traumatic than becoming a victim of crime or domestic violence. The Howard County Department of Police is sensitive to the emotional distress that may occur following these incidents and is committed to assisting victims through the judicial and recovery processes.
The Victim Assistance Section is staffed with personnel trained to provide crisis intervention, advocacy and support services to crime victims. Assistance includes emotional support, referral to specific provider agencies for focused follow-up services, assistance with filing court papers and monetary claims, court accompaniment, guidance through the criminal justice process and evaluation services for referral to trauma debriefing. Timely interaction with a victim advocate may help enhance the speed and quality of healing.
Crime victims in Maryland are entitled to certain statutory rights. The Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention have published a brochure that provides an overview of those rights, as well as information on available victim services. The brochure, titled “Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services,” is available in English and Spanish. You may view either version of the brochure by visiting GOCCP's web site using one of the links below.
Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services (English)
Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services (Spanish)
The Victim Assistance Section is located at the police department’s Southern District station at 11226 Scaggsville Road in Laurel. It is staffed with two employees and supplemented with several volunteers. If you need assistance, please call 410-313-3712.
Domestic violence is not a family problem or a private problem. It is a community problem. Hundreds of innocent victims die every year because domestic violence goes unreported. Statistics show that police intervention can prevent future domestic-related violence. Howard County police need community involvement to end domestic violence.
If you witness or hear domestic violence, please call 911. If you receive information that someone is a victim of domestic violence, please call Howard County police at 410-313-2200.
Frequently asked questions
What is domestic violence? Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married, living together, separated or dating; heterosexual, gay, lesbian or transgender.
What constitutes abuse? Examples of abuse include name-calling or putdowns, keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends, withholding money, stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job, actual or threatened physical harm, sexual assault, stalking or intimidation. Violence can be criminal and include physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity) or stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence. The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while.
Who can be a victim of domestic violence? Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women.
What should I do if I am in an abusive relationship?
If you are being abused, remember: You are not alone. It is not your fault. Help is available - contact local police!
How can I obtain a protective or peace order? Click here for information from district court on how to obtain a protective or peace order
Howard County Police
Domestic Violence Section: 410-313-3741
Domestic Violence Center of Howard County
24/7 Help Line: 410-997-2272
Domestic Violence Center web site
National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Teen Dating Abuse Help Line
National Teen Dating Abuse web site
Howard County police conduct joint investigations into child abuse at the Howard County Child Advocacy Center. Cases involving sexual and serious physical child abuse are investigated through a multi-disciplinary framework, including Child Protective Services, the Howard County States Attorney’s Office, the Howard County Health Department, the STTAR Center and the Domestic Violence Center. Detective utilize a victim-centered response to sex offense investigations, coordinating joint response and case follow-up from allied agencies. If you have knowledge of child abuse, please call police at 410-313-2200.
Child Advocacy Center brochure - English
Child Advocacy Center brochure - Spanish