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What you should know about Prince George’s 2-1-1 for domestic violence help

Eunice Brooks, 83.

Janice Marshall-Thomas, 54.

Tamu Bynum, 43.

Zonita Monia Roberts, 42.

Angela Lynette Johnson, 43.

Laila Miller, 3.

These are the names of the five women and one little girl who have been slain in what police have classified as domestic-related homicides this month in Prince George’s County. That’s more than half of the 10 homicides the county has recorded in August.

The recent wave of domestic violence has prompted county officials to remind residents that resources — particularly Prince George’s 2-1-1 hotline — are available to help families that could be on the brink of tragedy.

“This has been a challenging month,” Prince George’s Police Chief Mark A. Magaw said at a news conference Monday to address domestic homicides and the Saturday death of a 3-year-old girl who was knifed and shot by her father. “Domestic violence has played a huge part in that challenge.”

Here are five things you should know about 2-1-1 in Prince George’s County based on information from county officials from news conferences held Monday and government websites.

1) County officials launched 2-1-1 last fall as a way to combat domestic violence. It combines resources from police, the state’s attorney’s office, the sheriff’s office and other county agencies such as health and human services to connect callers to help.

2) 2-1-1 isn’t just for victims. The county is urging friends, children, neighbors who may know about domestic abuse to call and report problems. Even abusers or potential abusers are encouraged to call, with the county aiming to provide them help before violence escalates.

3) Hotline operators are trained in crisis intervention and listening. Their job is to figure out what the best steps are to provide intervention and prevention. When operators figure out the right department or person who can help, they just don’t pass on a number for people to call. They conduct a “warm transfer” linking the caller to a person who can take over the case.

4) Along with 2-1-1, the county offers a full list of domestic violences resources available at this link.

5) 2-1-1 is confidential. “We need neighbors, family members and friends, along with victims and survivors, to get involved and help save lives by calling 2-1-1 to get confidential assistance,” County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said in a statement released Monday about the county’s domestic violence homicides. “We must proactively prevent tragedies like these from happening again.”

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.



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