After years of abuse, many domestic violence victims take a brave step: they come to local courts to seek legal protection. Too often, however, they experience inadequate safety measures, inappropriate demeanor by court staff, and insufficiently trained judges – and these impede their efforts to stop the violence. Court Watch is determined to change that. Its cadre of volunteers collects data about what is actually happening in civil and criminal domestic violence courtrooms in Montgomery County, uses the data to advocate for systemic change in local courts, and shares promising new court practices. And it works. Today, because of CW’s efforts, more survivors are protected from contact with their abusers in court; more children have safe, court-supervised visits with their non-custodial parent; and fewer abusers have access to guns. An investment here means justice – and safety – for thousands.
COVID-19 Update: Because of courtroom closures due to COVID-19, volunteers have not been able to monitor court proceedings during the pandemic; however, Court Watch Montgomery is exploring and testing options for virtual monitoring. Its advocacy work for system changes and best practices has continued with the publication of three reports since March.
Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County
Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County; Silver Spring and Rockville District Courthouses
Age Groups Served: All
- Number of volunteers who work with us annually:
- Criminal domestic violence cases monitored:
- Protective order hearings monitored:
- Number of hours of volunteer work we record annually:
7206.25 from 2019
Awards & Recognition
GuideStar "Seal of Transparency - Gold" 2018
2019 Anna Julia Cooper Award for the Application of Social Science in Community Service
2017 Governor's Service Award
2017 Montgomery Serves Volunteer Award
2015 Community Partnership Award, Family Justice Center Foundation
2014 Civic Momentum Award, IMPACT Silver Spring
2014 County Council of Montgomery County Proclamation recipient
2013 Governor’s Citation for Victim Services
2012 Community Safety Award, Partnership for a Safer Maryland
2012 County Council of Montgomery County Proclamation recipient
2011 Community Award, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence
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