ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - Victims of domestic abuse in Montgomery County can now go to the Family Justice Center in Rockville to get comprehensive help that may save their lives.
This is how victims of domestic violence in Maryland can ask a judge for a restraining order against their abusers - via a video hookup.
The pilot program paid through a grant from Verizon, has been in place for the past year at the county's Family Justice Center.
Ana Valdez volunteers at the center. She herself was a victim of domestic violence. In 2008, her former boyfriend tried to kill her with a two-foot-tall crucifix. Valdez says the center's video hookup will make it easier for victims to take the first step of reporting abuse to a court.
The green light for statewide implementation of the video feeds comes days after Maryland passed legislation allowing abuse victims to get unemployment benefits if they quit their jobs to flee abusers. Victims will no longer need to choose between a paycheck and a beating.