MUSKEGON, Mich. – The month of October marks the annual push to raise awareness and end domestic violence. Events are planned across West Michigan, including a unity rally in Muskegon County Thursday night.
“We hope to bring more people into the knowledge of awareness about how domestic violence affects our community, affects family and everyone,” said Eileen Allen with Every Woman’s Place, a group that provides services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. “
T-shirts were hung on clotheslines across the Heritage Landing pavilion, created by family members who have lost loved ones to domestic violence.
“Everybody deserves to know about all this and have to learn about all this before it comes to what happened to my daughter," said Wendy Varela the mother of domestic violence victim Barbie Dailey, who died last month. Dailey's boyfriend has been charged with her murder.
In 2015, Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson's office handled 804 domestic violence cases. “We’re just not going to tolerate this type of activity," said Hilson, "and we make sure we strive in all levels from prosecution to law enforcement and investigation, to make sure we build the best case and put these people behind bars."
There are more than 50 domestic violence centers in Michigan. If you know anyone who needs help, call the Domestic Violence Crisis Line at 231-722-3333.