Justice Department Honors Baltimore Domestic Violence Program For Innovation

Apr 23, 2013, 21:01 ET from Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

BALTIMORE, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice will honor Northwest Hospital's Domestic Violence program, "DOVE", for its 24/7 crisis intervention that aids more than 800 domestic violence victims annually in Baltimore County.  Attorney General Eric Holder will present DOVE with an award during the National Crime Victims' Rights Week awards ceremony on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

"These committed individuals are being honored for their dedication to assisting and supporting victims of crime all across the country," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Their actions inspire all Americans, to do what we can, each in our own way, to help lessen the physical, emotional and financial impacts of crime on people in our communities."

DOVE, a hospital-based domestic violence response program that works closely with law enforcement, will receive the Professional Innovation in Victim Services Award.  When responding to a domestic violence incident, officers conduct a lethality assessment screen to evaluate the victim's risk level for homicide by his or her abuser.  If the victim scores high and does not want to go to the hospital-based program, law enforcement will immediately contact DOVE's 24-hour hotline. 

DOVE's support services include crisis counseling and safety planning, forensic documentation of injuries, referrals to community resources and temporary emergency assistance to meet basic needs (food, transportation and medical care).  DOVE also provides ongoing case management and counseling, court accompaniment, and linkages to employment, housing or social services.  DOVE's  Strangulation Response Project has developed new response methods and training for medical staff and law enforcement officers to ensure that victims receive the best immediate care. 

In addition to DOVE, Attorney General Holder will recognize 12 other individuals and organizations for their outstanding efforts on behalf of crime victims.  Descriptions and videos of the honorees are available at the Office for Victims of Crime's Gallery: https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/Awards/AwardGallery/gallerysearch.html.

President Reagan proclaimed the first Victims' Rights Week in 1981, calling for renewed emphasis on, and sensitivity to, the rights of victims.  National Crime Victims' Rights Week will be observed this year from April 21-27.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary Lou Leary, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. For more information about OJP, please visit: www.ojp.gov.

SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs