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FRIDAY FOCUS - Center for Abused Persons


“Safe homes start with safe relationships.” Center for Abused Persons provides services, programs and 24/7 help for victims of domestic, sexual and emotional abuse. They work together with several organizations in the community to provide people in need a place to come to, professionals to talk to, educational material, support and so much more. Annette Gilbert-Jackson, Executive Director, shared with us the many ways Center for Abused Persons is there for you and the community. Learn more in this week’s Friday Focus!
 
Q: Tell us about your organization (who you serve, what you do, etc.)
The Center for Abused Persons is a private, non-profit agency providing services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and others in crisis. We offer crisis intervention immediately following a violent incident as well as for individuals who experienced their abuse or assault sometime in the past. We accompany victims to the hospital and the courthouse. We advocate on behalf of victims, working closely with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, Charles Regional Medical Center, Lifestyles of Maryland and the Department of Social Services, among other agencies. We provide short- and long-term ongoing counseling for victims and their families.

CAP operates Charles County’s 24-hour Crisis Hotline for callers not only seeking services for domestic violence and/or sexual assault, but also for those needing assistance with relationship issues, experiencing substance abuse concerns, seeking concrete services such as housing, food or clothing or needing to talk with a trained counselor in between appointments with therapists at CAP or other mental health providers. CAP operates a state-certified Abuser Intervention Program for abusers in relationships in which intimate partner violence is present. Our staff provide group support for women incarcerated at the Charles County Detention Center. We also offer free community education and professional training on domestic violence and sexual assault.

All services, whether provided in-person or via telephone, are completely confidential.
 
Q: What is your favorite “moment” (example of how your organization helped)?
A girl of about 10 contacted us because she wanted to do something for children who are in families wherein domestic violence is present. She and her family put together bags filled with drawing paper, crayons, colored pencils and a toy. The front of each bag also had a drawing done by the girl or one of her family members. We’re not sure how she learned about the difficulties child witnesses of domestic violence face, but her compassion to help other children was very special and brightened the days of children of our clients. It is always especially heartening to meet children devoted to community service and helping others at such a young age. It bodes well for our collective future!
 
Q: What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge continues to be spreading the word that our agency is available to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and others in crisis. When asked, people assume there is an agency which serves victims of domestic and sexual violence in Charles County, however people do not always know our name. In addition, people may not be aware that our Crisis Hotline is available 24-hours a day, not only for victims, but also for anyone who is in crisis, who just needs someone to talk with or who needs information about community resources. We offer services to individuals who have recently experienced violence as well as for those who may have experience sexual or domestic violence many years in the past.
 
Q: Are there any upcoming events?
2018 marks our 35th Anniversary of providing services in Charles County. We will be celebrating with a dinner Friday, October 26th from 6 – 10 PM at the Waldorf Jaycees. Our keynote speaker will be Mildred Muhammad, domestic abuse survivor, award-winning speaker and former wife of the DC sniper. Tickets may be purchased by calling CAP or going online at VictimtoVictorDinner.Eventbrite.com.
 
Q: How can people get involved with your organization?
We offer many opportunities for individuals and groups to become involved in the work we do. Help us spread the word about preventing and recognizing domestic and sexual violence and how you can get help by inviting one of our Community Educators to come out and speak with your group; this is a free service offered to enhance the knowledge and health of our community. Consider training to become an outreach volunteer to help victims at the courthouse or the hospital following an incident of domestic or sexual violence.

Make a monetary donation to help us in our work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and others in crisis.  Tell friends, family and colleagues about the work we do at CAP. Encourage those in need to call our 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 301-645-3336. Follow us on Facebook and be sure to attend our community events. For more information, visit our website at www.centerforabusedpersonscharlescounty.org