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Domestic violence happens throughout the state of Michigan. Victims tend to have trouble speaking out against this crime, but with help, they can stop living a life of abuse. Education on domestic violence can help prevent a person from continuing to be abused by their partner, household roommate or their child’s other parent.

The Michigan State Police defines domestic violence as a “pattern of learned behavior.” This pattern includes using emotional, physical and sexual abuse on another person in order to control them. This crime is punishable by a fine of $500, 93 days of jail time or both.

While physical and sexual assault is usually straightforward, they can also include things such as forced provocative dressing, denied access to their home, dangerous situation abandonment, denial of help or being detained through physical force. Victims can also experience economic abuse through limited access to bank accounts, healthcare or employment. Psychological and emotional abuse include stalking, threats, manipulation and ridiculing their beliefs.

The Women Against Abuse organization focuses on educating women and men about domestic violence. The organization understands that domestic violence does not always look the same. However, it is often difficult to spot the warning signs and recognize that someone needs help.

The organization recommends people answer a few questions to see if they may be victims of domestic violence. The questions focus on the victim’s partner and how they treat the victim. The questions do not solely focus on physical abuse but rather include emotional and psychological abuse. They recommend seeking help if the person answers yes to any of their questions.