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Statewide day of action held on bills to protect domestic violence survivors from abusers

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 18, 2023

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Today in six cities across Michigan survivors of domestic violence are joining forces with lawmakers, clergy, and others to fight for the passage of legislation to keep firearms out of the hands of abusers. It’s a battle worth waging considering the number of victims.

Locally in Southfield and many others, domestic violence is the number one crime, with police running on two cases per day.

Domestic Violence abusers kill 50 women and 20 children each year with firearms in Michigan. A woman whose identity we are concealing fears she and her children could be next.

That’s why today across the state of Michigan six rallies were held including in Detroit and Royal Oak. The mission is to pass bills that protect domestic violence survivors from armed abusers. On hand law enforcement, clergy, survivors, and lawmakers.

“This is important because there are women and kids that die every single day from people who have already made it known that they're willing to abuse their partner or abuse a spouse and if you add a firearm to that abuse to the mix, it’s a deadly combination,” said Mallory McMorrow, State Senator (D) Royal Oak.

We spoke to Deputy Chief Aaron Huguley from the Southfield Police Department. Domestic violence is the number one crime in Southfield.

WXYZ’s Carolyn Clifford asked, “How many calls do you get in a day?”

“At least one of two a day,” said Deputy Chief Aaron Huguley.

In May of this year, a divorced woman was gunned down outside the Marriott in Southfield and the man she was with was critically injured.

For four years, Southfield PD has been holding this domestic violence walk during October because crime is so prevalent putting victims and law enforcement in harm's way.

“We want our voices to be heard as we advocate for change and bringing awareness to it,” said Huguley.

A woman we spoke with today says she witnessed the torture of her own two children. We did not identify her for her protection. She finally got enough courage to reach the First Step, a domestic violence non-profit for help.

“So, First Step was the only people supporting me, guiding me, and helping me out,” said an unidentified domestic violence victim.

Now divorced and in a safer place she prays laws will change as she’s still fearful her ex who is on probation could follow through on a threat to kill them all.

If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic or sexual violence, please call First Step's 24-hour helpline at 734-722-6800.

They have free emergency shelter, advocacy, and counseling. You are not alone. First Step and others are there to help you.