In late July, motorcyclists from across Michigan embarked on the fourth annual Ride Against Domestic Violence. According to a report in the Morning Sun, the ride is co-sponsored by Mary’s Dream, Living Without Fear, a nonprofit organization that was formed after the murder of Mary Lynn Babb. A former employee of the Morning Sun, Babb was shot and killed by her estranged husband in 2007.
Riders have been making the 50-mile ride annually to raise money and bring awareness to domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Statistics
Domestic violence can come in many forms. From physical abuse to sexual abuse to emotional and psychological abuse, or a combination of any of those forms, domestic violence is a serious problem. Domestic violence results in numerous deaths and injuries every year across the country.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. Though the statistics note the prevalence of domestic violence, the Department of Justice notes that, historically, it is one of the most underreported crimes.
Though women are the most common victims, men are also subjected to incidents of domestic violence. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 15 percent of all domestic violence victims are male. The CDC also notes that domestic violence leads to nearly 17,000 homicides and over two million medically treated injuries nationwide every year.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Family under Michigan Law
Despite the fear that domestic violence instills in its victims, there are steps that victims can take to protect themselves and their children, as up to 60 percent of abusers will also abuse children in the household. Michigan law allows you to obtain a personal protective order (PPO) against a spouse, former spouse, person you have a child in common or a dating relationship with or a person who has or is living in the same household.
In Michigan, there are two types of PPOs available. A Restraining PPO is for victims of dating violence or domestic abuse; while a Stalking PPO is for victims who have been or are being stalked by another person. A PPO is an order by the court that can provide victims some measure of protection. They typically prohibit a person from contacting or threatening another person, but the terms of each order can differ from case to case.
Working With an Attorney
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, contacting local law enforcement agencies or dialing 911 is the best thing you can do. However, speaking with an experienced family law attorney can help sort out your options and help protect yourself and your family.