Attendees Learn Difficult But Important Lessons on Family Violence

Panelists at “The Many Faces of Family Violence” session broached a difficult but important topic: the physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse or neglect that can occur within the dynamics of familial or intimate relationships, and the State and local services available to protect and assist victims.

“Family violence” is the umbrella term for crimes which include domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, and elder abuse. The panel, moderated by Senator-elect Addie Eckardt, included Lisae Jordan, Esq., Executive Director & Counsel, Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault Legal Institute; Ellyn Loy, LCSW-C, Director of the Elder Abuse Project at CHANA; and Michele Hughes, Executive Director, Life Crisis Center.

From left to right: Senator-elect Addie Eckardt, Michele Hughes, Ellyn Loy, Lisae Jordan
From left to right: Senator-elect Addie Eckardt, Michelle Hughes, Ellyn Loy, Lisae Jordan

Important facts and lessons learned:

  • About 42% of Maryland women have experienced intimate partner violence.
  • Only between 12%-33% of child sexual abuse cases are actually reported.
  • In Maryland there are 17 locally based Rape Crisis Centers and SALI, most also handle domestic violence programs.
  • 66% of Elder Abuse is perpetrated by a family member (47% by an adult child; 19% by a spouse)
  • It is estimated that elders throughout the US lose a minimum of $2.9 billion annually due to elder abuse and financial exploitation.