Detroit and State Lawmakers Take On Domestic Violence Amid Increase in Incidents

Detroit City Council passes an ordinance that allows law enforcement to take guns from people convicted of domestic abuse, while state lawmakers propose a victims protections package.

Bills proposed in Lansing and an ordinance passed in Detroit last week take aim at the growing problem of domestic abuse in Michigan.

Detroit named its law after Sgt. Elaine Williams, who was shot and killed in 2019 during a domestic violence incident. It allows law enforcement to take guns from people convicted of a misdemeanor related to domestic abuse.

“During COVID, a lot of our abusers and our victims are locked down together. So the focus has to be about keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers.” –Mia Reid, Detroit chapter of Moms Demand Action

Officials estimate domestic violence in Michigan has increased during the coronavirus pandemic by more than 8%.

“During COVID, a lot of our abusers and our victims are locked down together,” says Mia Reid of the Detroit chapter of Moms Demand Action. “So the focus has to be about keeping guns out of the hands of convicted domestic abusers.”

Reed applauds the city for its action, but says the state needs a similar law.

“Michigan has the 15th highest rate of gun violence in the United States,” Reed says. “And Michigan is one of the few states that does not have a state law that prohibits domestic abusers from possessing firearms.”

State lawmakers last week proposed a package of bills to increase protections for victims of domestic violence. Members of the state House Progressive Women’s Caucus introduced bills that would extend paid medical leave and unemployment insurance to cover situations that stem from abuse. They also offer protection from housing discrimination and eviction.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

 

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

 

Donate today »

Author

  • Sascha Raiyn

    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.