The Impact of Domestic Violence on Special Populations
Domestic violence does not impact just one type of person: it impacts people of all races, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations, and genders. Please choose from the list below to find resources and information about special populations:
Domestic violence can affect people regardless of religion. Sometimes victims stay in an abusive relationship, not only because of fear or finances, but because of religious and cultural beliefs. Religious and cultural beliefs are often used as an excuse or rationale for an abuser to be violent or controlling towards a partner. Victims may also be afraid to tell anyone in their community about the abuse because they are ashamed, embarrassed, and they may blame themselves for the abuse. If they left the abuser, then they might have to leave their faith community.
Clergy and lay leaders can play an important role in victims’ lives. MNADV’s Community Partners Committee developed this publication, Opening Doors, to help faith organizations understand domestic violence and provide ideas on how they can respond to victims and get involved with ending domestic violence in their community. The booklet is available in PDF format here:
Opening Doors Booklet (Choose this version for booklet format. Print double-sided and choose “flip short side” in your printer settings. Fold in half and staple in the middle to make the booklet.)
Opening Doors Single Page (Choose this version to view or print in a single page format that is letter-sized. Can be printed single or double-sided.)
At MNADV, we believe that religion can be used as a tool of strength and healing for victims. Religion and faith can be a motivator for abusers who want to change. There are several service providers in Maryland who provide services from a faith-based perspective:
Baltimore, MD 21201-5781
(410) 234-0023 or (800) 991-0023
Services provided: Hotline, support group, individual counseling, safehouse, legal services and referrals for Jewish victims of domestic violence. Rabbinical and lay professional training, speaker’s bureau.
Toll Free: 877-88-JCADA
Confidential Helpline: 301-529-0073
Services provided: Counseling, case management, confidential hotline, safety planning, career counseling, public education.
Faith Trust Institute focuses on the role of religion in domestic and sexual violence and offers resources and materials.
Peaceful Families provides training and resources for organizations on domestic violence within Muslim communities.
PASCH is an international coalition of men and women who promote peace and safety in Christian homes.
The RAVE Project brings knowledge and social action together to assist families of faith impacted by abuse.
Jewish Women International (JWI) focuses on domestic violence in Jewish communities throughout the country and beyond, with an emphasis on prevention through youth education and with a special legal initiative.
For victims whose partner is in the military, seeking help can be complicated. Victims may not want to risk get their partner in trouble or may not want their private information to be revealed. Abusers serving in the military can use scary tactics and threats against their partner. Many victims are socially isolated, may move frequently, and be far from their support systems.
Despite these barriers, victims have options. They can contact the local civilian domestic violence program (Get Help Now) if they want to seek services outside of the military or discuss their relationship in a confidential manner, or they can contact the military-based Family Advocacy Program. These Programs handle active duty and retired military spouse abuse. The services they provide includes victim advocacy, court and Emergency Room companions, safety planning, military no-contact orders, abuser intervention group, and counseling. In the military, domestic violence victims can report domestic violence in a restricted or unrestricted manner. There are limitations to confidentiality in the military, so it is important to understand the potential consequences. For more information on Family Advocacy Programs, go here (http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/sp/fap).
Services provided by Family Advocacy Program on each installation in Maryland:
Ft. Detrick Family Advocacy Program
Frederick, MD 21701
Fort Meade Family Advocacy Program
Fort Meade, MD
Aberdeen Proving Ground Family Advocacy Program
Bethesda Naval Hospital Family Advocacy Program (serviced by the Naval District of DC at Anacostia Annex)
Walter Reed Army Medical Center Family Advocacy Program
Forest Glen, MD
Andrews Air Force Base Family Advocacy Program
Andrews AFB, MD
Bolling Air Force Base Family Advocacy Program
Patuxent Naval Air Station Family Advocacy Program
Patuxent NAS, MD
Marine & Family Services-Family Advocacy Program
(703) 614-7204 (main office)
(703) 693-6611 (24/7 hotline)
In Maryland, serves: CBIRF, NSWC (Indian Head); Marine Cryptographic Support BN (Ft Meade); Marine Det, Defense Information School (Ft Meade); Marine Aviation Det (Patuxent Rvr); USMC Recruiting Station (Baltimore); 4th Combat Engineer Bn (Baltimore)
Domestic violence impacts all types of relationships: lesbian and gay relationships as well as relationships with queer or trans partners. The prevalence of domestic violence in LGBTQ relationships is about the same as in straight relationships. Identifying as a minority sexual orientation or gender identity can lead to discrimination when victims reach out for help. If victims arenít ìoutî to everyone they know, that can keep them from disclosing abuse. There are some organizations at the national level that specialize in domestic violence in LGBTQ communities.
The Network/La Red is a national leader in domestic violence for lesbians, bisexual women, and transgendered people.
Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project is a leader in serving gay men, bisexual men, and transgendered people.
The Northwest Network has articles on domestic violence in LBGT communities and offers assistance to organizations nationally.
People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Victims who are Deaf or hard of hearing can be abused in different ways. Seeking help can pose safety concerns, as the Deaf community is very tight-knit. When the abusive partner can hear, but the victim cannot, this hearing privilege can be used as a form of abuse. Near Maryland, there is an organization specializing in services for Deaf or hard of hearing victims:
Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN)
c/o DAWN, 5321 First Place, NE
Washington, DC 20011
Services provided: Advocacy, referrals, individual and group support, 24 hour TTY crisis hotline for deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind victims of domestic violence and sexual assault 1-866-290-DAWN (3296).
DASAM1001 W. Pratt St. Baltimore, MD 21223
Fax: (443) 462-3086
Services Provided: Victim advocacy and certified abuser intervention.