Usually, the first point of contact that a victim of domestic violence will have with the Family Crisis Center (FCC) is through our 24-HOUR HOTLINE (1-866-DVCRISIS [1-866-382-7474] or 301-731-1203). Emergency Shelter services are free, confidential and can be accessed 24 hours a day seven days a week. On a single day in Maryland, emergency hotlines can expect 276 calls for service, that's more than 12 hotline calls every hour (National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Census of Domestic Violence Services, November 2006). Over the past 5 months, here at the FCC Hotline, we have experienced an average of 1,000 calls per month.
Hotline Responders render immediate crisis intervention through compassionate support, community resources, referrals to other helping agencies, and when appropriate, access to our SAFE PASSAGE EMERGENCY SAFE HOUSE. At Safe Passage Emergency Safe House victims who are fleeing violence in their homes are provided a safe, clean and therapeutic environment, counseling and a host of supportive services. Due to the lethality of many domestic violence relationships, the location of our Shelter is undisclosed. During participants' stay at the Safe Passage Emergency House, clinicians provide individual and support group counseling, case management, job skills assessment, assistance with transitional housing, workforce development, and referrals for other community services. Family Crisis Center staff work closely with participants on exploring options for safety, stability, and security. This includes developing marketable skills for employment, resume building, improving parenting skills, enhancing self-esteem, and rebuilding community connections.
For non-residential participants, the FAMILY VIOLENCE INTERVENTION CLINIC (FAMVIC) provides intensive group therapy sessions, separately for victims and perpetrators of violence, that are designed to assess and provide treatment to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in our communities. These classes are held at convenient times to allow those that work to attend the 26-week program. Many of the persons attending these classes are court mandated. Classes are usually small and personable so that there is a good exchange between the participants.
Domestic violence is a complex issue that has far reaching consequences for all family members. To ensure the safety and stability of survivors as they exit an abusive relationship, the Agency partner with other domestic violence programs to provide LEGAL ADVOCACY. In addition, we offer COURT COMPANIONSHIP that provides domestic violence victims with legal advice, and/or legal representation. On average, Prince George's County Sheriff's Office receives 1,200 restraining orders per month and is the jurisdiction that has the highest rate of service for orders of protection.
The Family Crisis Center also has a satellite office located in Langley Park, Maryland to provide SERVICES IN SPANISH FOR LATINA SURVIVORS of domestic violence, and to serve the Hispanic population in that area. Experienced counselors conduct Survivors' orientation sessions, intakes, and counseling support groups. Female survivors interested in these services should contact the main office in Brentwood at (301)779-2100 to request an appointment.
Our Safe Visitation and Exchange Program (SVEP) provides an opportunity for children in situations involving domestic violence, to safely visit with the non-custodial parent. Studies have shown that the risk of violence is often greater for victims of domestic violence and their children after separation from an abusive situation. Even after separation, batterers often use visitation and exchange of children as an opportunity to inflict additional emotional, physical, and/or psychological abuse on victims and their children. Our Safe Visitation and Exchange Program provides a safe and nurturing place for their visit and exchange, and holds the offenders accountable for their actions.