State Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) and state Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills), members of the Michigan Legislature’s Progressive Women’s Caucus, introduced resolutions in their respective chambers this week to recognize October 2020 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.
“October not only serves as a month of awareness for this important issue, but also a call to action to ensure every survivor in Michigan has the space, protection and resources they need and deserve,” said Pohutsky. “We must do everything we can to step up and speak out on behalf of survivors while empowering those still trapped in dangerous situations and relationships. By working together, we come all that much closer to putting an end to domestic violence in our state once and for all.”
First designated by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1981, October has served as an important time for the national, state and local partners actively engaged in public and private efforts to prevent domestic violence to join together and continue raising awareness.
“We need to work together in the Legislature and in our communities to provide survivors of domestic violence with resources such as economic stability, safe housing, access to health care and stable childcare,” said Bayer. “We also need to create safer homes, which means more responsible gun owners. I have several bills sitting in committee that would require universal background checks and safe gun storage, and that would create ‘red flag’ laws to ensure firearms are kept in safe, responsible hands — not in the hands of a domestic abuser.”
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a recognizable uptick in reports of domestic violence across the state, nation and world over the same time periods in recent years. While necessary measures were taken to protect the health and safety of residents in Michigan and across the nation from COVID-19, the increased confinement, financial stressors and uncertainty are being exploited by perpetrators as a new or heightened tactic of abuse.
Confidential support for domestic violence survivors is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling (800) 799-SAFE, texting LOVEIS to 22522 or visiting their website at thehotline.org, as well as the Michigan Sexual Assault VOICES4 Hotline, available by phone, text and chat at 855-VOICES4.