October has been declared Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Michigan by Governor Whitmer. Signed on October 1, 2022, the proclamation states the goal of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to provide, "an important opportunity to learn more about domestic violence and to demonstrate support for the numerous organizations and individuals who engage...and offer assistance to victims."
It's also seen as an opportunity to recognize those courageous survivors of abuse and honor those who were harmed by their partners, current and former.
Just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month a new 24/7 help hotline has been launched here in Michigan for those experiencing domestic violence issues, or who know someone who is.
The new hotline, referred to as VOICEDV, will be available through phone calls, texts, chatroom, and TTY for the hard of hearing or speech impaired. By dialing 1-866-VOICEDV callers will be immediately connected with an advocate offering free, confidential crisis support.
What is 'Crisis Support'?
The VOICEDV hotline is staffed by the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. These trained advocates are able to offer assistance in finding local domestic violence shelters and programs, counseling services, and in-the-moment support.
According to the 2020 Michigan State Police's Incident Crime Report, there were 64,778 reports of domestic violence offenses reported-- and those are just the ones we know of.
Statistics also show that members of the LGBTQ+ community and the black community experience domestic violence at disproportionately higher rates. Leah Dryer of End Violent Encounters tells WILX Lansing,
Raising awareness...is important and getting youth involved, letting them know that this is what a healthy relationship is and what it’s not...that can really just help prevent this pandemic from growing more and more throughout the years
More information and resources on the VOICEDV program can be found here.