ROCKVILLE, Md. – A new study released Thursday by an advocacy group in Montgomery County sheds light on what researchers say is a lack of resources in cases of domestic abuse.
“The safety and well-being of children from violent homes is a significant problem,” says Laurie Duker, executive director of Court Watch Montgomery.
According to the report, the county has no system for ensuring the safety of children during visits with a parent who has been involved in domestic violence. The group says “supervised” visits are ordered by judges, but the supervisors are usually family members or friends, who don’t ensure a safe environment.
During the past six years, four children have died during unsupervised visits.
The study states, among other shortcomings, the county lacks specific programs and facilities where safe visits can occur. The group is asking the county council to provide the necessary resources so these visits will be supervised by trained professionals, who can protect the children involved.
“Judges can’t order services that don’t exist,” Duker says.