Brown proposes policies to stem domestic violence -- Gazette.Net


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Maryland gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and running mate Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman (D) laid out a policy plan Tuesday aimed at ending domestic violence in Maryland.

Drawing on the personal experience of losing a family member to domestic violence, Brown detailed at a news conference in Columbia 10 areas, starting with screenings at hospitals, where a Brown-Ulman administration would change the system.

Nearly half, about 44 percent of all women who were killed by an intimate partner, had visited a hospital in the two years before their death, according data presented by Brown.

His plan would have a program to identify domestic abuse victims in all 46 community hospitals in the state.

It would also require cell phone carriers to allow victims of domestic violence to break contracts with their partner without facing a penalty, it would increase funding to existing programs, and it would lessen the proof required to obtain a protective order.

But his opponent Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler’s (D) campaign attacked Brown’s plan in a statement saying that while in the House of Delegates, Brown was quick to trade favor with “Annapolis insiders” for withdrawing legislation to combat domestic violence.

Citing a Daily Record article from 2003, the statement quoted Brown, as vice chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, saying he withdrew the bill to avoid pitting himself against the committee chairman, Del. Joseph Vallario (D-Dist. 27A) of Upper Marlboro.

Gansler’s running mate Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Dist. 47) of Cheverly, said in a statement Tuesday that Brown chose buddying up to the chairman over protecting the victims of domestic violence, adding that the women and families of Maryland will not let him get away with pontificating about domestic violence when his record shows he abused their trust on this issue.

Gansler attacked Brown attendance record as a member of a state committee on family violence, saying he can count on one hand the number of times in seven years Brown showed up at meetings of the Governor’s Family Violence Council. Gansler is chair of the group.

According to Brown’s campaign, in the past seven years he has been lieutenant governor, Maryland has seen a 20 percent decrease in domestic violence-related assaults, a 15.3 percent decline in domestic violence-related homicides and a 31.7 percent drop in killings of children and women. kalexander@gazette.net