MCVRC Hosts Congressman Hoyer’s Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Roundtable
Upper Marlboro, Maryland — Today the Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC) hosted Congressman Steny H. Hoyer’s (MD-05) roundtable on the importance of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA creates and supports comprehensive, cost-effective responses to the pervasive and insidious crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Since the law’s enactment in 1994, VAWA programs have dramatically improved federal, tribal, state, and local responses to these crimes.
As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote in the coming weeks on the reauthorization of VAWA, Congressman Hoyer took the time to ask important questions of a group of Maryland crime victims’ service providers. He was interested in the challenges that each organization faces while providing these important services to their communities and how they have benefited from VAWA funding. All organizations echoed the same sentiment – without the VAWA funding, services would be severely impacted, leaving large numbers of violence against woman victims with limited or no support. Over the years, VAWA has provided critical startup funding for new programs and services that their organizations offer.
In addition to Congressman Hoyer and his staff, the roundtable attendees included a representative from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin’s office, Rachel Jones, and representatives from the following Maryland groups that provide services to victims of crime:
Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center (MCVRC): Roberta Roper, Pauline Mandel
Prince George’s County Family Justice Center: Denise C. McCain
Prince George’s County Family Services: Jackie Rhone
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA): Lisae Jordan, Stefanie Erdice
MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALT): Damir Siahkoohi
Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy: Taylor Spencer Davis
Maryland Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program: Anne Hoyer, Kelley Mitchell
Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence: Trisha Gentle, Lucane LaFortune
Center for Abused Persons: Annette Gilbert-Jackson
Walden/Sierra, Inc.: Dr. Kathleen O’Brien
MCVRC is a statewide Maryland nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that the rights of victims of crime are fully implemented and that crime victims are treated with dignity and compassion. MCVRC (www.mdcrimevictims.org/help) offers no-cost legal representation and grief counseling, counseling, and other assistance. MCVRC makes its free services available to victims, including family members of homicide victims, and can be reached, toll free at 1-877-VICTIM1 and at 301-952-0063.