Domestic violence cases rise in Michigan, local resources available

ADRIAN — Domestic violence does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender or economic status. Anyone can be a victim.

The Michigan State Police Incident Crime Report indicated that there were 64,778 victims of domestic violence in 2020, which is an increase of over 20,000 from just two years ago. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how many more victims are suffering silently and not involving law enforcement, according to Adrian-based Catherine Cobb Safe House legal advocate Candy Gomez.

Candy Gomez, left, legal advocate for the Catherine Cobb Safe House of Lenawee County, speaks during a domestic violence vigil Sunday in Adrian at the Stubnitz Environmental Educational Center in Heritage Park. To her right is Melissa Beal a survivor of domestic violence and co-founder of the support group Surviving to Thriving.

Gomez was present at the Lenawee County Commission’s Oct. 13 meeting to receive a resolution from Commissioner KZ Bolton, D-Adrian, declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month is also recognized nationally. Although she sees it every day, Gomez said she still cannot believe that the number of domestic violence reports jumped by 20,000 in just two years alone.

“We do so much work within the legal system, within the advocacy services to really try to eliminate domestic violence by providing education to law enforcement and to prosecutors and to our attorneys and our survivors and just working toward system and social change. It’s just so sad that the numbers are so astronomical,” Gomez said.