domestic violence

Department of Justice changes definition of domestic violence

Mar 13, 2019
National Domestic Violence Hotline

“The term domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim.”

That is Heidi Bott. She is a psychotherapist specializing in domestic, gender based and sexual violence at the YWCA of West Central Michigan. 

Unlike the definition the Obama Administration implemented, this one applies only to individuals who can prove to have experienced physical violence that led to a criminal charge – but Bott says its not always that simple. 

Michigan legislators are proposing new laws designed to better protect victims of domestic violence and stalking.

Bills introduced this past week would create an address confidentiality program, which supporters say exists in 37 states. Those subject to personal protection orders would have to relinquish their guns. Other measures are aimed at addressing housing- or job-related factors that keep victims with their abusers.

A Michigan man is charged after police in Indiana accused him of shooting and killing his girlfriend's pet donkey.

MSU logo / Michigan State University

Michigan State University says its Office for Institutional Equity received more than 450 relationship violence and sexual misconduct complaints during the last academic year.

The office and the Title IX Office on Thursday released the school's first such report on complaints, findings and investigations.

The Office for Institutional Equity was created in 2015 and handles discrimination and sexual assault investigations.

Hilary Farrell

Michigan crime victims will soon have an easier time keeping track of offenders.

MI-VINE is a notification system for victims of crimes.

It sends victims texts, emails, or phone calls giving them updates about their case or telling them if there is a change in the offender’s location.

Victims currently have to re-register if an offender is moved from jail to prison. That's something a lot of victims don’t realize.

The Crime Victims Service Commission is working to make sure victims only have to register one time. 

Hilary Farrell

A new law will help victims of domestic violence get out of shared cell phone plans with their accused abusers.

Prior to this law, victims did not have a way to cancel or change their cell phone plans unless they were the primary account holder.

Under the new law, victims who have a personal protection order would be able to get a court order from a judge to cancel or transfer their cell phone or data plan that they share with an accused abuser.

  Ford Motor Co. board member Edsel Ford II will not face charges following a domestic violence incident involving his wife at their suburban Detroit home.

Grosse Pointe Farms Detective Lt. Rich Rosati said Tuesday that a city attorney determined there is insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Ford is the great-grandson of the automaker's founder Henry Ford. He was arrested late Monday night at his Grosse Pointe Farms home.

Legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk would expand a mechanism by which a mother can go to court to have the father's paternity revoked if a child is conceived through rape.

The process is already allowed if there is a rape conviction.

But advocates say women may not press charges due to fear and intimidation tactics used by perpetrators.

The bill sent to Snyder by the Senate on Tuesday allows a mother who proves by "clear and convincing" evidence that her child was conceived as a result of rape to have the perpetrator's paternity revoked.

Police car lights
Wikimedia | Matty Ring | CC BY 2.0 /

A suspect in a Thursday morning domestic shooting incident was arrested just before 6 p.m., following an alleged robbery and police chase.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says officers located the 35-year-old man driving westbound on Fulton in a stolen vehicle after a reported robbery at a Kentwood business.

Police say the man hit a GRPD cruiser and collided into a tree near the John Ball Park Zoo shortly after.

Officers say a gun was recovered at the scene.

The man allegedly shot a 27-year-old female Thursday morning just before 9:30 a.m.

GRPD badge
Grand Rapids Police Department /

A Grand Rapids woman is in serious condition following a morning shooting incident.

The Grand Rapids Police Department says the shooting occurred just before 9:30 a.m. inside of Cambridge Square Apartments on the city’s Northeast side.

Responding officers found a 27-year-old female suffering from a gunshot near the shoulder and neck area. Officials say she was taken to an area hospital, where she was reportedly in serious condition.

Police say the incident appears to be a domestic situation. Officers are searching for a 35-year-old male said to have fled the scene.