by Tim Stolloh
The New Republic
Has one state discovered a simple way to combat domestic violence?
...In recent decades, one of the great grassroots movements of the twentieth century built a raft of protections designed to help abused women. These included a sprawling network of community shelters, gun restrictions for abusers, protection orders, and the nation’s first federal anti-domestic violence legislation, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Yet, despite this sustained effort—and even as overall homicides have plummeted nationwide—victims of domestic violence are today killed in basically the same numbers as they were about 15 years ago. Between 40 and 50 percent of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands, boyfriends, and exes. And, for about half of these victims, police had been alerted to previous incidents of abuse.
There is, however, one exception to this grim trend: Maryland. Since 2007, domestic violence homicides in the state have fallen by a stunning 40 percent. What is Maryland doing that other states are not? The answer appears to lie with a former high school nurse, an ex-Washington, D.C., police lieutenant, and their ground-breaking efforts to protect the most vulnerable victims of abuse...