Sunday, January 27, 2008

JUST AN IDEA, JEN

Rep. _______ offers the following resolution:

House Resolution No. ___

A resolution to commemorate November 04, as Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Whereas, Michigan state legislators through past legislation have designated the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the state of Michigan.
Whereas, It has been demonstrated that Michigan Domestic Violence Organizations do not represent victims of Officer Involved Domestic Violence (OIDV), and therefore victims of OIDV are not represented and acknowledged during the current Michigan Domestic Violence Awareness Month of October.

Whereas, This lack of awareness of OIDV in Michigan has led to victims of OIDV not having the empowerment needed to escape situations of domestic violence, and has in many instances, led to the deaths of victims of OIDV who have attempted to leave situations of OIDV on their own because they have been denied assistance from Michigan domestic violence organizations.
Whereas, In Allegan County, in 2007, Pamela Aukerman, a victim of OIDV sought the assistance of two (2) Allegan County domestic violence agencies, when she decided to leave her abusive marriage to Officer Kevin Brainard (Plainwell Police Department).

Whereas, Pamela Aukerman was turned away/ denied assistance by Allegan County Domestic Violence Agencies, based on the sole fact that her abuser (Officer Kevin Brainard/ Plainwell Police Department) was a police officer.

Whereas, due to this prejudice against victims of OIDV by Michigan domestic violence agencies, Pamela Aukerman was left to her own means to escape OIDV.

Whereas, In Plainwell Michigan, on November 04, 2007 Pamela Aukerman Brainard was murdered by her ex-husband, Officer Kevin Brainard (Plainwell Police Department).

Whereas, Jennifer Aukerman Drake; Rich Klemmer; and Renee’ Harrington, introduced the Pamela Aukerman OIDV Bill, following the OIDV murder of Pamela Aukerman. The Pamela Aukerman OIDV Bill will provide: 1) A separation of officer involved domestic violence from non-officer domestic violence; 2) A state run agency for victims of OIDV, which will provide assistance for victims of OIDV; serve as an outreach program for victims of OIDV; oversee all insistences of OIDV; oversee all investigations into OIDV complaints; oversee all department reprimand hearings for insistences of OIDV; oversee all criminal hearings of OIDV; etc. 3) An extension of current Michigan domestic violence laws to victims of OIDV; 4) A mandated uniform OIDV police department OIDV policy; and 5) Release of funds from the federal Crystal Judson STOP grant to the Michigan OIDV programs set forth in the Pamela Aukerman OIDV Bill. The Pamela Aukerman OIDV Bill is currently before Michigan state legislators.

Whereas, Jennifer Aukerman Drake, Rich Klemmer, Deon____, and Renee’ Harrington established the Michigan OIDV organization, following the murder of Pamela Aukerman, further distinguishing the uniqueness of the plight of victims of OIDV victims in the state, from that of non-police officer dv victims.

Whereas, We know that the number one component in assisting victims of domestic violence is breaking the wall of silence that traps its victims. Previous legislation in enacting the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month was envisioned by the Michigan State Legislators as a time to educate the public on domestic violence; to educate victims as to the programs available; to reach out to victims of domestic violence; to end the silence of domestic violence; and to empower victims of domestic violence through their numbers.

Whereas, The domestic violence victims not being reached and acknowledged during Michigan’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, are the victims of OIDV. This separation, lack of acknowledgement and therefore empowerment only continues to manifest the silence that traps its victims.

Whereas, One of the best ways to reach out to victims of OIDV and to educate the public is to acknowledge the existence of OIDV and its victims.

Whereas, A Michigan Officer Involved Domestic Violence Awareness Day dedicated to honoring the victims of OIDV who have been murdered and victims of OIDV who have escaped, will offer hope and strength to other victims of OIDV. A day honoring OIDV will finally give victims/survivors voice, and let them realize for the first time that they are not alone.

Whereas, Ending the silence of OIDV through Michigan OIDV Day, is the greatest escape tool that the Michigan State Legislators can give to victims of OIDV.

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