Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control. Violence is not just physical and need not be physical at all. It includes verbal abuse, financial manipulation and control, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
The form, frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner's consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.
There are many laws in Michigan designed to protect victims. These include exclusion from mediation requirements in family court cases, "safe havens" for seeking custody in another state on an emergency basis (think: fleeing from the abuser) and personal protection orders.
However, the most important and first thing to do is SEEK HELP. Here are resources available to you or the victim you know from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence: