The Anne Arundel County Department of Health’s Gun Violence Intervention Team (GVIT) has released its online Domestic Violence Toolkit at aahealth.civilspace.io/en/projects/domestic-violence-toolkit. The goal is to decrease the number of domestic violence incidents in Anne Arundel County and encourage victims to reach out to loved ones and local authorities for assistance. Domestic violence is a social problem that impacts the entire community. In 2019, 29 Maryland residents lost their lives to domestic violence.
In addition to state and national statistics, the toolkit provides information on the warning signs of abuse, legal options that can protect victims, and local community groups that work with survivors to rebuild their lives. Research on how the presence of a gun in a domestic violence incident increases the risk of injury or fatality is also included. Nearly seven in 10 domestic violence-related deaths in Maryland involve a gun.
County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman said the new toolkit is one more step in the GVIT’s efforts to keep communities safer and reduce gun-related violence by addressing the link between domestic violence and guns. “Many residents may not know that women, men and young people can all be victims of domestic violence,” Kalyanaraman said. “By working with community members, law enforcement and domestic violence advocates to support evidence-based gun violence reduction policies, we can all play a role in preventing violence in our closest relationships.”
The GVIT also produced a Suicide Prevention Toolkit and Youth Gun Safety Toolkit. All toolkits can be found at aahealth.civilspace.io/en.
The GVIT was established on August 12, 2020, following an executive order by County Executive Steuart Pittman, declaring gun violence a public health issue. The team operates under the auspices of the Anne Arundel County Department of Health and works through collaborative meetings and workgroups with over a dozen partner agencies to use a public health lens, data and community engagement to reduce gun violence.
If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out to the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency’s warmline at 410-768-5522.
For more information about the GVIT, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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