Prince George's County leaders react to wave of domestic violence – want residents to know about 211
In the wake of the recent explosion of violence within families in Prince George's County, leaders say they're working to stop the next act of domestic violence before it happens. On Monday, State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, council members and members of the faith community met in Camp Springs near the home where police say 38-year-old Frederick Roy Miller started his weekend domestic violence rampage that ended with 2 relatives shot, his 3-year-old daughter dead, and Miller shot to death by cops.
Council Chair Mel Franklin, issued this poignant call to action to men: "Far too many of our residents, far too many of our families cannot resolve their problems without resorting to physical and emotional violence often fatal violence. That's a fact. And I'm here as a father, as a man to say to the other men in our communities, this issue isn't only about us, but a lot of it is about us. We are the overwhelming perpetrators of domestic violence. That is a fact, and we cannot continue to as men, the supposed protectors of our families and communities, to allow this to happen and to perpetuate it's continuance because we are generating more perpetrators of domestic violence as our sons see our example."
Alsobrooks says despite an almost 40% reduction in homicides over the last three years, domestic-related homicides have not declined. After experiencing 9 last year, these types of homicides currently stand at about 13 this year.
You may hear about Miller and think this is an isolated incident, what could anyone, much less a public official, have done to help someone so apparently in pain that he would kill his baby, but leaders at the news conference say it is incumbent upon everyone in the community to act.
If you are involved in a domestic violence situation and you are in Prince George's County, leaders say call 211. Operators can confidentially get you the help you need, whether you're a potential victim, perpetrator, a neighbor or a friend.
Many churches have counseling, and you don't need to be religious or a member to partake. Dr. Mike Freeman of the Spirit of Faith Christian Church says they offer counseling and group sessions. They have locations in Brandywine, Elicott City, and Temple Hills.
Alsobrooks is also working on a Family Unity Summit in December that will help with issues including metal health.
Alsobrooks stresses, "We also want people to ask for help. There's no shame in asking for help. There's a stigma around mental health that has to leave us. There are people who need help and we want not only the women who are involved in these situations to ask us for help, we want to help them but we want the abusers….(to know) that we want to help them too.
Police stress that if anyone is in imminent danger, call 911, not 211.