Story by: Samantha Mitchell
PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (ABC7) — Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy partnered with Cottage City Municipality to host a socially distanced event bringing awareness to domestic violence Wednesday evening.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The event featured survivors of domestic violence along with other special guest speakers.
Partners included Prince George’s Family Justice Center, I’m Bruised But Not Broken, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Grace Heaven Boutique “A New Beginning”, She Rises Int’l, Inc., Movement Ministries and National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. Prince George’s County Chapter.
Members of the public werealso be invited to watch the stream by registering online.
The first speaker and one of the staff members of Braveboy’s office says that for the attorney general, “crime is personal – personal to the victim, personal to the community, and personal to the state’s attorney’s office.”
Two of the priorities of her office, the speaker added, was strengthening hate crimes and making strangulation a felony.
She has also worked on the school to prison pipeline issue in the county, the speaker adds.
Several councilmembers, delegates and even a state senator were in attendance at the event.
“Because it’s really important that we all come together to combat what we know is just a dangerous, dangerous issue that impacts families here in Prince George’s County,” Braveboy said. “I lost a cousin to domestic violence, and so when I say it’s personal, it really is.”
She reiterated the importance of taking domestic violence issues seriously so they don’t escalate.
“We’re facing a really issue right now because of the pandemic,” she adds.
She says stress has been compounded due to COVID, and she says there has been an increase of at least ten percent along with strangulation cases.
“We know strangulation is the most lethal form of domestic violence,” Braveboy said. “This is why our office has worked to make strangulation a first-degree felony assault in Maryland.”
Pastor Yolanda Peoples was introduced as the moderator of the event, and works to help victims of domestic violence while working with the church.
“I have an aunt who was killed by her husband, and he drugged her and put her in the car and dropped her in the water – that’s where they found her three days later, after 20 years of abuse,” Peoples said.
She added to Braveboy’s sentiments, saying how important it was for the county to break the cycle of domestic violence before introducing other speakers to share their stories of surviving domestic abuse.
The U.S. Department of Justice also announced Wednesday funding totaling $40,037,526 to support survivors of domestic violence and prevent violence against women.