Michigan Domestic Violence Resources and Help

Do not wait before it’s too late.

This week, the body of a female victim of domestic violence was located. It took two years before his partner of five years finally led police to the location of his body and only after Calhoun County prosecutors offered him a plea deal.

Amber Griffin was a mother of two children. She had family and friends who cared for her. She worked hard and rarely missed a day of work. Amber was first reported missing in late June 2020.

It didn’t take long for the police to deduce that Derek Horton, her boyfriend, was likely responsible for her disappearance. The couple had a long history of domestic violence known to both Battle Creek police and her family. Unfortunately, her children had to live with Amber’s mother due to ongoing violence at the couple’s home.

While Amber’s loved ones knew Derek was abusing her, they couldn’t convince Amber to leave him. Fear, threats, and reasons that may have only been known to Amber kept her in the abusive relationship that ultimately cost her life.

Nothing will bring Amber back. Her children will grow up without their mother. But what we can do to honor his memory and learn from this tragic situation is to take the first step by asking for help for ourselves or for those we know who are victims of domestic violence.

  • Some abusers retain such a hold on their victims that even an Internet search is neither safe nor private. The State of Michigan has guidance on how to safely find the help you need without notifying the abuser. Click here. You can find tools to develop a security plan and tips.
  • You can view resources for each county in the state of Michigan by click here. The page also has a big red button near the top that will quickly make you leave the page if your attacker walks in the middle of the search.

If you live in Battle Creek like Amber, there are several shelters where victims can find refuge with their children. At least one of the shelters has an agreement with the Humane Society of South Central Michigan to house pets to ensure there is one less barrier preventing a victim from leaving.

The national domestic violence hotline is 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233).

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