One in 3 women and 1 in 5 men experience domestic violence throughout their lifetimes. Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of physical, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse perpetrated by one intimate partner to gain power and control over the other partner.
Mary’s Center recognizes the prevalence of domestic violence in our communities, and is committed to providing comprehensive support for all survivors in order to empower individuals and strengthen families. [We provide abuse screening, case management, and individual counseling, and education on understanding controlling behaviors and its effects on families, exercising one’s rights, and protection through safety plans.]
Medical and and social services staff at our clinics screen all patients for domestic violence; patients with positive screens are referred to each clinic’s Family Support Worker for case management or to our integrated behavior health therapists for mental health services. We also accept direct referrals from individuals and other service providers.
Mary’s Center domestic violence case management involves providing culturally-sensitive education on the different forms of abuse, the toxic cycles of violence, safety planning, and pathways to change. Case managers explain community resources available, and refer survivors to support groups, mental health services, emergency shelters, crime victim’s compensation, legal resources, and other relevant services. Participants are also assisted in enrolling in public benefits for which they are eligible, including public insurance programs, housing, and nutritional support (SNAP and WIC). Family Support Workers monitor and assist participant progress towards their goals, and track the results of referrals to other Mary’s Center services and/or to partner organizations through electronic health records. [All educational information on domestic violence is presented in a culturally sensitive manner, in English or Spanish or in other languages through language line translation services.]
Safety planning is used as a tool to prepare for emergency situations of violence at home, whether or not the victim has left the abusive relationship. It includes important hotline numbers and safety tips, and involves brainstorming emergency contacts in different emergency scenarios. Our staff create safety plans together with survivors on postcards or special scroll pens.
Mary’s Center supports survivors in understanding their rights in the complex legal processes involved when reporting domestic violence. We can connect a survivor to pro-bono legal services and courthouse advocates, and provide education on applying for protection orders, custody, divorce, and child support.
Mary’s Center maintains valuable professional connections to the limited shelters for domestic violence survivors in DC and Maryland, and works actively to place individuals as needed.
Our program conducts outreach and training at various community centers to promote awareness on the prevalence and societal impacts of domestic violence, stimulate constructive conversation, and explain resources available. We provide resource guides, educational booklets, and safety plans to participants.
Coalitions and Advocacy
Mary’s Center is a member of the DC Coalition on Domestic Violence and the DC Coalition to End Sexual Violence, which promote advocacy across the District to collaborate and strengthen efforts to improve services for survivors. Our coalition memberships also allow our staff to access advanced trainings on specialized topics within domestic violence and continuously improve our knowledge of this complex social issue.
Mary’s Center receives grants from the DC Department of Human Resources under the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act to support our services.
Are you a survivor of domestic violence? You don't have to face it alone.
Mary's Center can help. Call 202-313-1705 (office) or 650-644-6445 (cellphone).
Domestic Violence Agency Resource Booklet (in Spanish only)