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Congresswoman Dingell, Organizations Convene Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell with coalition of people addressing domestic violence. New program started
ANN ARBOR, MI – As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) today brought together local domestic violence organizations, health care providers, resource centers, advocacy groups, law enforcement and elected officials to convene a regional coalition aimed at ending domestic violence in our communities.
The Southeast Michigan Coalition Against Domestic Violence will combine diverse voices and perspectives to join forces and work together to prevent domestic violence and improve support for survivors.
“We are convening this important coalition because we believe that we can do more together,” said Dingell. “We can more effectively reduce instances of domestic violence in our communities by finding new 
opportunities for domestic violence organizations to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and health care providers, and by boosting coordination with campus programs and recovery resources. There are already outstanding examples of these partnerships across the region.
This coalition is about building on what’s working and finding new opportunities to collaborate and move closer to communities that are free from violence and assault.” "Today's meeting was a critical first step in joining together domestic violence allies across the district to talk about the problem of domestic violence and the real solutions we can achieve, together,” said Barbara Niess-May, executive director of SafeHouse Center. “I am proud that Congresswoman Dingell is a valiant, and steadfast supporter of survivors and their children. Her story moves many, and she has turned that into action." “First Step is excited to be a part of this coalition,” said Interim CEO Ilene Hogan. “Together we can learn from each other, combine resources, raise awareness and provide more effective and comprehensive services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
More awareness will hopefully lead to more offender accountability which will lead to safer homes for survivors in our communities. I am very grateful to Congresswoman Dingell for her leadership and commitment to survivors.” The Southeast Michigan Coalition Against Domestic Violence will work to build on successful partnerships, increase the effectiveness of existing programs by improving coordination among federal, state, county and local governments, and create policy solutions that prevent domestic violence and support those impacted by abuse and assault. The coalition is planning a second meeting with a broader group of participants and will hold a series of work sessions over the next year to address new obstacles and barriers facing survivors.
At the federal level, Dingell is working to pass the bipartisan Zero Tolerance for Domestic Abusers Act, bipartisan legislation she introduced with Rep. Dan Donovan (NY-11) that protects survivors of dating violence and stalking by closing loopholes that allow abusers and stalkers access to guns. “I applaud Congresswoman Dingell for bringing together an effective and dedicated coalition of community leaders who work every day on the front lines to end domestic violence,” said State Representative Kristy Pagan. “I am proud to join in this effort with key stakeholders to offer policy solutions to support survivors of domestic violence, bring assailants to justice, and continue to change dialogue and culture around ending violence in our society.”
“I was pleased to attend this morning's meeting regarding domestic violence in our state,” said State Representative Erika Geiss. “As a state legislator and vice chair of the Progressive Women's Caucus I am looking forward to continued work with this group and others on boldly addressing the issues of domestic violence prevention, improving the health and safety of victims and survivors, and improving the response to victims and the processing and adjudication of their assailants.” “Domestic Violence is affecting many families in my district and throughout the state,” said State Representative Cara Clemente. “Our hope is that if we actively increase education, awareness, and community involvement, we can help prevent sexual violence.”