Community

Shelter for Domestic-Violence Victims Celebrates 35 Years

The Family Crisis Center of Brentwood will host the Oct. 21 event at the Camelot by Martin’s at 13905 Central Avenue in Upper Marlboro.

The event will honor state Delegate Angela Angel (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro, a domestic violence survivor and advocate.

Angel sponsored for a bill earlier this year in Annapolis to expand the definition of “abuse” to include harassment and malicious destruction of property. Unfortunately, the bill didn’t pass.

Sophie Ford, the center’s executive director, said the youth jazz group called FAME (Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education) will perform led by director Toni Lewis. The group’s music director, Nat Adderly Jr., previously worked as musical director the late R&B singer Luther Vandross.

“We want people to come out and enjoy themselves and know we are trying to raise money for a good cause,” said Ford, who anticipates 125 people to attend.

Because the county has encountered several high-profile, domestic-related deaths this year, the county council approved $1 million in this year’s fiscal budget to combat domestic violence. One part of the plan would be setting up offices at various apartment complexes to provide residents with information on mental health and jobs.

Although that would help, nonprofit organizations such as the Family Crisis Center established in 1981 need money.

She said the center held a 5K walk-run event this spring and raised nearly $1,000.

The money will be used to help support victims after leaving an abusive relationship.

A portion of the funds will go toward the center’s children’s program, which helps them process trauma and learn to solve conflicts without using violence after they’ve witnessed their parents being abused.

Although most people are sympathetic to those being abused, the center also seeks to help the abusers.

Mental health treatment can be received through a 26-week Abuser Intervention Program that goes intense through therapy, mediation and group counseling that deals with a person’s family history through violence by a parent, sibling or others. The session called the abuser intervention program does require a fee and more than 90 percent of those involved are referred by the court system.

Family Crisis Center is one of four agencies in the county accredited that work directly with men and women who verbally or physically abused their spouse, significant other, family member, or others.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to http://fccanniversary.bpt.me or call 301-779-2100.

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