Maryland prepares for domestic abuse surge during coronavirus

Prosecutors fear that victims are stuck at home with their abusers, but they want you to know help is out there.


PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. — Prosecutors in Maryland say they are monitoring the impact of Gov. Hogan’s stay-at-home order on incidents of domestic violence. They fear that victims are stuck at home with their abusers, but prosecutors want you to know help is out there.

“When the governor is saying stay home, but home isn’t a safe place, that’s tough,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said. 

She told WUSA9 that while the county typically sees a high rate of domestic violence, the number of reported incidents has not gone up yet. She stressed that even though county courts are closed, protective orders are still being executed.

“We have seen a spike in the number of petitions being requested by victims of domestic violence and we think that is directly related to COVID-19, financial stresses and otherwise during this time,” Braveboy said, emphasizing that victims in immediate danger should call 911. 

Braveboy said arrests are still being made and warrants still being served.

The Prince George’s County Family Justice Center suggests keeping an emergency bag packed and establishing a code word with family if you feel that you might need help. The county said it is providing emergency housing beyond normal shelters, so victims are less exposed to the threat of coronavirus.

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