Civil Justice Court Setting
Temporary Protective Orders (TPO)
In Maryland, the Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP) is conducted in some civil courts for domestic violence victims seeking Temporary Protective Orders (TPO).
See Implementers by State for a current list of agencies conducting screening during TPO.
Conducting the LAP during the TPO Process
In most court settings, an advocate from the local domestic violence service program or an officer from the agency tasked with civil process service initiates the LAP. Typically, the agency is the county’s Sheriff’s Office.
Why Conduct the LAP during the TPO Process
Research shows that a victim’s risk of lethality and overall danger increases when they separate from an abusive partner. Often engaging in court proceedings is the beginning of that separation. Accordingly, a victim whose circumstances may not have created a high risk of lethality before they applied for a TPO may now have an increased risk. These victims, who are seeking relief from the Maryland Courts, need to be connected to local domestic violence service programs. Research shows that domestic violence services are life-saving and effective. Administering the LAP during the TPO process is another avenue for serving victims who may not have contact with the police, health care provider, or other services.
Conducting the LAP in a Healthcare Setting
In most healthcare settings, the LAP is administered in the emergency department. It has also been implemented in labor and delivery and community clinics. Hospitals and healthcare facilities partner with their local domestic violence program to conduct the LAP.
Why Conduct the LAP in a Healthcare Setting
There are several indicators of abuse, such as injury, medical, emotional and treatment-related. In addition to treating the symptoms of domestic violence, such as chronic pain or mental health issues, hospitals and healthcare facilities have the opportunity to treat the many adverse health-related effects of abuse. A victim’s contact with the health care community presents a unique opportunity to identify the abuse, provide victims with care, and connect them with a domestic violence program. Administering the LAP in a healthcare setting is one method to accomplish the goal of assessing and connecting.
State Department Setting
Conducting the LAP in Maryland State Departments
In the three participating Maryland State Departments–Department of Human Resources (DHR), Department of Public Safety and Community Supervision (DPSCS), and the Department of Juvenile Services (DJS) — the LAP is administered by staff within the departments. Departments partner with their local domestic violence program to conduct the LAP.
Why Conduct the LAP in Maryland State Departments
State Departments present another avenue by which domestic violence victims may have contact with the system. Victims may be working with the Department of Social Services, under DHR, or the abuser may be supervised by DPSCS. These systems present a unique opportunity to identify domestic violence victims and connect them with life-saving domestic violence services.