DOVE Program at Northwest Hospital Supports New Domestic Violence Legislation
Posted Jun 13 2011 6:00am
For some LifeBridge Health employees, giving the best care means taking to the streets. The staff of The Domestic Violence Program at Northwest Hospital (DOVE) has been actively engaged in the legislative process to ensure that survivors are heard and protected. Partnering with organizations such as House of Ruth and the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, DOVE made its presence known in Annapolis during the 2011 legislative season.
One of the primary bills that Maryland’s domestic violence community pushed was HB 819/ SB 593, which seeks to amend the first degree assault statute to include the specific language of strangulation and suffocation. As Audrey Bergin, coordinator for the DOVE Program at Northwest Hospital, explains, right now that specific language is included in the first degree statute. Currently, strangulation constitutes a first degree assault charge, but that still remains at the prosecutors’ discretion. It is most often prosecuted as a second degree ...