Gov. Martin O’Malley was on hand July 15 to help Maryland’s Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition celebrate its second year.
While the primary focus of the organization in its first year was the Baltimore area, the 2014 coalition includes faith leaders, experts in domestic violence and victim support organizations from Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Montgomery counties and Baltimore City.
The coalition was started in 2013 by Baltimore’s Judge Karen C. Friedman, a former chair of CHANA and current Baltimore City Circuit Court judge, and comprises more than a dozen organizations including CHANA, the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Muslimat Al Nisaa, Sinai Hospital, the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the Governor’s Office of Crime, Control & Prevention and the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, among others.
Last year, the organization worked with faith leaders to encourage discussion of a topic often considered a taboo in many synagogues, churches, mosques and other places of worship. During the Weekend of Ministry last October, interfaith leaders from across the Baltimore area dedicated part of their service to broaching the subject of domestic violence in the hopes that religious leaders may come to be viewed as an ally by victims of domestic violence, willing to listen to them and connect them to help.
More information about the Interfaith Domestic Violence Coalition can be found at community.maryland.gov.