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New Program Works To End Domestic Violence

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In the United States, one in four women will become a victim of domestic violence. It's a statistic that Maryland community leaders are working to change.

Tracey Leong has more on the program aimed at solving the problem.

The University of Maryland Medical Center is working to end domestic violence. Their new program "Bridge Project" provides services to bring them one step closer.

Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, domestic violence specialists will be on-hand at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

"A lot of the domestic violence happens after midnight. A lot of it's on the weekend," said Roxann Rogers, Violence Prevention Program.

It's a change that will help them reach more victims of domestic violence: "And be able to ask those questions," said Dr. Carnell Cooper, clinical associate, professor of surgery. "'Have you been abused recently? Do you have a safe place to go to once you leave here?'"

Dr. Cooper is hoping that this new program will continue to be a resource for victims right here in Maryland, as well as victims around the country.

In the U.S., every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten. Every day, more than three women are murdered by husbands or boyfriends.

Maryland's lieutenant governor has been leading the way to drive down domestic violence--a mission that is very personal.

"My cousin Cathy was killed at the hands of her estranged boyfriend," Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said.

No one is immune to the threat.

"The most dangerous place in America for many families is their own home," said Senator Barbara Mikulski.

Because many victims are scared to come forward, it is often called the silent killer. It's a health challenge leaders are working to end.

Part of the funding comes from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for $50,000, as well as a grant from Verizon for $25,000.

This becomes the tenth Maryland hospital program for domestic violence screening.

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