Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

FSI’s Betty Ann Krahnke Center (BAK) is the only emergency domestic violence shelter for women and children in Montgomery County, MD. BAK is a 54-bed, short-term crisis shelter for women and children who are fleeing domestic violence and/or victims of sexual assault or human trafficking. BAK provides crisis intervention, safety planning, victim advocacy services, counseling and therapeutic interpersonal skill-building, with an emphasis on trauma reduction and personal empowerment.

BAK provides the following services:

  • A safe and confidential emergency residence for women and their dependent children up to age 18 (both girls and boys)
  • Clinical case management and therapeutic services which include individual, child, group and family counseling
  • Life skills groups and referrals to facilitate successful transition to a safe living environment
  • Targeted services for youth including limited childcare and enriching child and family activities, and
  • Education, support and referral information about legal services and resources

Group therapy sessions, facilitated by professional therapists in English and Spanish are offered several times a week. In addition, a Mom’s Empowerment group addresses the challenges of parenting. This group focuses on building stronger parenting skills and taking into account the effects of violence on the relationships between mothers and children.

A child therapist works with children ages five and older and helps them recover from trauma. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Domestic Violence Unit, provides funding for the Safe Start program for BAK children. In addition, MCPS volunteer teachers provide after school tutoring help several times a week.

Center staff promotes nonviolent family interaction with innovative activities such as pet therapy, community meetings, yoga, game nights, movie nights, cookouts and pajama parties. BAK offers recreational activities for children in the summer camp program and partners with camps in the community who offer soccer scholarships to young people.

BAK serves more than 200 abused women and nearly 350 children. Currently, 60% of those residing at the center are children from newborns to 18 years old. Download our brochure.

How Can You Support the Betty Ann Krahnke Center?

  1. Monetary donations – Please call (301) 840-3225 to get more information, or learn more about the many ways you can donate to Family Services, Inc.
  2. Wish List Items – See our complete wish list of items needed for the women and children at BAK.
  3. Services – The center is also looking for donations to help with landscaping, painting and/or decorating of common room areas.

Depending upon your level of donation, your name or business name can be printed on the center's marketing materials and website.


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