Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Outreach

Background Information

One in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to recent statistics. And, in the state of Maryland, sexual assault 1 out of every 5 adult women, or about 457,000 adult women, has been the victim of rape sometime in her lifetime.

In the Office of the State's Attorney for Anne Arundel County, we're here for you. Our team of dedicated Victim-Witness Advocates are available to provide the necessary support and resources to assist during such a challenging time.

Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that can include physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse (using money and financial tools to exert control). Some abusers are able to exert complete control over a victim’s every action without ever using violence or only using subtle threats of violence. All types of abuse are devastating to victims.

Abusive partners make it very difficult for victims to escape relationships. Sadly, many survivors suffer from abuse for decades.

It is important for survivors to know that the abuse is not their fault, and that they are not alone. Help is available to those who are experiencing domestic violence.

Sexual assault is any sexual act that is unwanted and that no consent has been given in which a person is threatened, coerced, forced to comply against their will or unable to give consent to the activity.

The activity or conduct may include threat, the use of physical force, the use of coercion or manipulation into agreeing, causing the other person’s intoxication or incapacitation to give consent (usually through the use of drugs or alcohol) or taking advantage of the other person’s voluntary intoxication.

Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence and can include unwanted, non-consensual touching and/or oral, anal or vaginal sexual intercourse, penetration with a foreign object (i.e. fingers, sex toys, etc.). This could be perpetrated by a person known by the victim or by a complete stranger.

In Maryland, the police may make an arrest for an incident of domestic violence without witnessing the assault if they have "probable cause" to believe that an assault took place. Officers must make an arrest if an offender is in violation of the "stay away" or "don't abuse" provision of a Civil Protective Order.

If an arrest is not made at the scene, a domestic violence victim may:

  • Make application with a District Court Commissioner to file criminal charges
  • Request that the State's Attorney file a criminal charge

A victim of domestic violence may receive, upon request and without cost, a copy of the incident report from the law enforcement agency that responded to the call.

A domestic violence victim may also request a "domestic stand-by" from an officer to ensure that she is safe while removing personal items to meet her emergency needs or those of any children in her care.

If you are in danger, call 911, a local hotline or the National Domestic Violence Hotline

Please see below a list of local and national resources available to victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault:

  • Anne Arundel County Crisis Warmline is a service that provides Anne Arundel County Residents in crisis with supportive assistance and linkages to resources within the community at 410-768-5522, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • YWCA Hotline in Anne Arundel County is a safe and secure connection to a trained advocate to assist with the social, emotional, residential and resource needs of individuals who are victims of domestic violence. For assistance, contact the domestic violence hotline can be reached at 410-222-6800. 
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides confidential and anonymous support 24/7  at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.
  • Loveisrespect provides teens and young adults confidential and anonymous support at 1-866-331-9474 and TTY 1-866-331-8453.
  • provides legal information and resources for victims. Reach out by email through the Women's Law Email Hotline in English and Spanish.