What is FCRC?
FCRC is a private, non-profit organization which provides comprehensive services to those who have been victimized by domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse. Services include: 24-hour Helpline, shelter services, individual and group counseling, advocacy and accompaniment, supervised visitation, Abuse Intervention Program, and community education.

How do I contact FCRC?
You can contact our 24-hour Helpline (301.759.9244) if there is an emergency after normal
working hours. If there is not an emergency, and you would like to schedule an intake (paperwork to open your file within FCRC), you may call during normal working hours (301.759.9246). Or, you can just walk-in to our office and the first available counselor will speak with you.

How are you funded?
FCRC is funded through contracts with the State of Maryland and the federal government.
We are also supported by the Allegany County government, County United Way, Baltimore Conference of United Methodist Women (includes Allegany County), and community contributions. The Board of Directors raise funds when there’s an identified need for which the budget cannot accommodate (i.e. shelter furnishings).

Who does FCRC serve?
FCRC serves victims and survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault/abuse, rape, and incest. In addition, FCRC provides services for secondary victims, or those directly affected by the victimization of a loved one, such as children who have witnessed domestic violence.

FCRC also provides services for male and female perpetrators of domestic violence
(Abuse Intervention Program), as well as parents of children from violent homes.

What is domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault/abuse?
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive behavior characterized by the control of one person over another, usually an intimate partner, through physical, psychological emotional, verbal, sexual, and/or economic abuse. Go to domestic violence page

Rape occurs when a person is forced to have sex against his/her will. The abuser is not interested in the victim’s feelings, but wants control and power. Rape is an act of violence, not sex.

Sexual assault/abuse occurs any time a person is forced to participate in sexual acts without his/her consent. Sexual abuse is differentiated from sexual assault by the relationship of the victim to the perpetrator. Sexual assault becomes sexual abuse when the perpetrator is a family or household member or an individual who has “temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision” of the child (Family Law, 5-701). Go to sexual assault/abuse page

What if he doesn’t hit me…?
Abuse can take many forms—the majority of which never leave a mark. Physical Abuse involves much more than hitting—pushing, grabbing, refusing to let you leave, threatening physical harm, destruction of property, spitting, pulling hair, and even tickling are physically abusive behaviors. But, not all abuse is physical. Other forms of abuse include emotional, verbal, financial, and sexual. Any form of abusive behavior is emotionally harmful. Just because you haven’t been hit doesn’t mean that you aren’t being abused. It is important to know that the controlling behaviors of emotional and verbal abuse often escalate to physical violence over time. To learn more about the other forms of domestic violence, please visit programs/services.

Am I a victim of sexual assault/abuse?
Rape/sexual assault are acts of sexual aggression committed against a person without his/her consent. It is a violation of a person’s right over his/her own body and his/her ability to make a sexual choice. If you did not or could not consent to any sexual act (fondling, anal, oral or vaginal contact/penetration) you are a victim of sexual assault/abuse. If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or if you were incapacitated in some way or in fear if you did not comply—you could not give consent! The perpetrator may have been someone you know—in 75-80% of the cases it is. If you believe you may have been a victim of a sexual assault/abuse, please talk to someone; it was not your fault.

Is FCRC required to report crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault/abuse?
The FCRC staff is not required to report domestic violence or sexual assault/abuse if the victim is an adult, unless the victim is a vulnerable adult. A vulnerable adult is a person age 18 or over who lacks the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. Maryland law requires staff to report all cases of suspected vulnerable adult abuse, including physical and sexual assaults, as well as neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation to Adult Protective Services immediately.

In cases where the victims are children, the staff is mandated to report any act or suspected act of child abuse (physical or sexual) or neglect to Child Protective Services, within 48 hours.

Is there help for families of victims?
Yes, FCRC recognizes that abuse impacts the entire family. It has its greatest impact on children in the home, but can also affect other close family members. The family member may be experiencing a variety of feelings associated with the violence, or may need guidance on how to support their loved one. The significant person close to the victim is a secondary victim, which could be a partner, child, parent, grandparent or friend. In addition, the 24-hour helpline can be a source of relief for that individual.

Can I see someone right away?
Due to the nature of our work, many of our calls are urgent situations. If a victim calls and they are currently in a crisis, FCRC staff will prioritize their needs and see them as soon as possible. Should a victim call and need general information or are considering counseling, but are not in crisis at the time, an appointment will be scheduled. Finally, should a victim call after hours, FCRC has a 24-hour Helpline where there is a counselor on duty to talk, assess the situation, and schedule an appointment and/or give appropriate referrals.

What if someone I know is being abused?

Be supportive. Do not blame the victim for what has happened to him/her.
Ensure him/her that it is not his/her fault.
Listen. Respond to what he/she says and needs—not what you think he/she needs.
Provide the victim with information on safety planning, protective orders, hotline
numbers, counseling, shelter and other resources.
Do not speak negatively about the abuser or the victim may react defensively.
Focus on the victim’s safety. Encourage him/her to have a safety plan in effect for him/her and any children involved.
Remember that the victim may not feel ready to leave this relationship. Let him/her
know that you are available for support even if they are not ready to leave.

Am I to blame for his violence?
This is a question that most victims of domestic violence ask themselves. You may wonder
this because your partner tells you it is your fault or maybe everything was “fine” in the relationship a couple of weeks or months ago. Whatever the reason, someone else’s actions, especially abuse, are never your fault. There is nothing you can do or undo that will change controlling or abusive person’s behaviors. The responsibility for abuse rests only with the person committing the acts of violence. Domestic violence acts are about the need to control and the failure to take responsibility for one’s behavior.

What if my partner says he/she is sorry?
One of the big myths about abusers is the belief that if they say they are sorry the abuse will automatically stop. Apologies are a part of the abuse cycle. In what is often referred to as the “Honeymoon Phase” there is often a period of tenderness, gift-giving, romance, promises to change, begging for forgiveness, and even remorse. The abuser will say and do whatever he/she thinks it will take to keep the victim in the relationship and in his/her control. The “Honeymoon Phase” may be followed by a period of tension building, which may be a short or long period and leads to the serious battering phase—this completes the Cycle of Violence. The apologies are repeated and the cycle starts again. In almost all cases the abuse intensifies over time.