Maryland is receiving a federal grant of more than $2 million to stop violence against women. The money will go to as many as 50 organizations around the state, which is in the upper half of states in terms of the number of calls received by the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Governor Martin O'Malley says all of them are committed to his goal of reducing violence against women and children by 25 percent by the end of next year. That percentage is larger than the one O'Malley set to reduce overall crime. "Why is it higher for women and children? Because those are the sort of violent crimes that create cycles and generations of violence if we don't step up and break that cycle," says O'Malley.
Among the groups that will receive a portion of the grant money is The House of Ruth. Executive Director Sandi Timmons says domestic violence has reaches far into the community: "One in four women will be in a abusive relationship in their life. One in three victims who are employed, will lose their job as a result of domestic violence. And businesses will spend between three to five billion dollars a year in medical costs."
In making today's announcement, the governor was joined by several family members of domestic violence victims, including lieutenant governor Anthony Brown. "My cousin Kathy was killed by her estranged boyfriend," says Brown. "He shot her and killed her in front of two Montgomery County police officers."
The officers then shot and killed the man. Brown says while deaths due to domestic violence have fallen statewide by more than 40 percent in the past two years, more must still be done.