Parents fighting with little girl looking scared

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Police often work with domestic violence/family violence organizations in the state to get you additional support once you are safe.

211 can connect you to community resources for a domestic violence situation, family violence, sexual assault, restraining or protective order, human trafficking, child abuse or neglect and adult abuse or neglect.

Dial 211 to speak to an Information and Referral Specialist 24/7/365.

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Domestic Violence Help

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available throughout Maryland. Advocates can help with housing, legal needs and ensure your safety by providing options for next steps.

Always call 9-1-1 if you are in immediate danger.

Police work with agencies like the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence which serves Kent, Dorchester, Queen Anne's, Talbot and Caroline counties. You can get help 24/7 with crisis intervention, emergency shelter, safety planning, pet safety, information and referral, emotional support, counseling and guidance and legal services.

If you know someone who is experiencing abuse, the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence offers helpful ways to provide support, including an emergency kit so the individual can leave home with essentials.

You can also call 211 to get connected to a local domestic violence service provider.

Child Abuse and Neglect

If you suspect child abuse and/or neglect, report it to the local Department of Social Services or law enforcement. Reports can be anonymous.

Maryland Child Protective Services details potential signs of neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or mental injury so adults, caregivers and professionals know when to report a suspected case.

In general, child abuse and neglect may include:

  • physical injury to a child even when not visible
  • failure to give proper care or attention
  • leaving a child unattended where the child’s health or welfare is harmed or there is a substantial risk of such
  • sexual molestation or exploitation
  • impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function
  • finding credible evidence of physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse that hasn’t been satisfactorily refuted

If the state removes a child from home, there is a legal process to ensure the child’s safety and welfare.

A child is anyone under the age of 18 years old.

The state also offers Adult Protective Services to anyone over 18 who lacks the physical or mental capacity to care for their needs. There are behavioral, social, financial and physical signs of abuse and neglect with vulnerable individuals and older adults. These may include:

  • Confusion and forgetfulness
  • Fear, helplessness, shame
  • Isolation
  • Violence or drug abuse
  • Unusual bank activity
  • Change in spending habits
  • Unpaid bills
  • Appearing dirty or unshaven
  • Undernourished, dehydrated
  • Untreated medical condition
  • Cuts, wounds, bruises or other marks
  • Unable to speak freely
  • Violence or drug abuse

Learn about all the signs from the Maryland Department of Human Services. Report suspected adult abuse to 1-800-91-PREVENT (1-800-917-7383).

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