Call Us: 443-849-3323
Main Hospital
6701 N. Charles St.
Emergency Department
Towson, MD 21204
P:443-849-3323
Park:Lily — (Directions)
Mon - Fri
24 Hours

Sat - Sun
24 Hours

Support Group

Join Us!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person sessions are cancelled until further notice.

The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) & Domestic Violence (DV) Program offers a private Facebook group for victims looking for support. Contact Valerie Weir at vweir@gbmc.org or call the SAFE & DV office at 443-849-3323 to learn how to gain access to this group.

You are not alone. We are here to help.

Domestic and sexual violence does not discriminate, and many victims do not seek available services for help. Often, abusive situations leave the survivor feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or at a loss for how to effectively cope with the trauma.

Recovery in the early days after suffering a trauma can be challenging. As uncomfortable as it may sound, sharing difficult thoughts and feelings in a group setting can be an extremely effective part of the healing process.

The main purpose of the GBMC Sexual Assault/Abuse and Domestic Violence Support Group is to facilitate emotional well-being among victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking through an educational and supportive group environment.

It is our hope that survivors will also find a safe space to reflect and connect with others in similar situations, learn more about the dynamics of trauma and abuse, practice tools for self-care, learn effective coping mechanisms for healing, and feel empowered and confident in their recovery journeys.

With early intervention, post-trauma symptoms can be managed. With ongoing support and resources, they can often be eliminated.

Program Details

The GBMC Sexual Assault/Abuse and Domestic Violence Support Group meets:

  • First and third Wednesdays of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Civiletti Conference Center on GBMC’s campus (Physicians Pavilion East, 6565 N. Charles St. Towson, MD 21204).
This program is available to all patients who have been victims of a violent crime of human design such as domestic violence, intimate partner violence, adult sexual abuse, abuse as a child, or human trafficking. Each group meeting is guided by the participants and discusses their specific needs. This may include topics such as safety planning, identifying follow-up counseling services, locating legal assistance, education about the neurobiology of trauma, and matters related to Criminal Injuries Compensation Board as well as Peace and Protective Orders.

Group Guidelines

In the beginning of each meeting, participants establish a “comfort agreement.” These guidelines ensure that all participants feel at ease while sharing difficult and personal experiences.

1. Treat all group discussion with respect. Offer respect for individual choices and experiences.
2. Keep what is said in the group within the group. This protects individuals’ privacy.
3. Allow one person to talk at a time.
4. Silence all electronic devices.
5. Do not dominate the conversation. Everyone gets a turn to speak.
6. Create a safe place to share feelings, get and give support, reassurance, and encouragement.
7. Be flexible. The discussion will flow with the participants’ needs, interests, and will provide an opportunity to reduce isolation in times of need.
8. Be open to all persons recovering from any sexual abuse and/or domestic violence situation.
9. Do not use the group to replace individual therapy.
10. Be honest.

Facilitators

Valerie Weir, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, and Lisa Brengle, BSN, RN, FNE-A/P, will serve as the facilitators for the group. Together, they have more than ten years of experience in the areas of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Their role is to guide the group and facilitate emotional well-being among all participants. If participants would like to seek additional psychotherapy services following a meeting, discuss this with a facilitator or call the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) office to speak with another forensic nurse at 443-849-3323.

Join Us!