Ortonville shooting sparks discussion over domestic violence and seeking crisis help

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FLINT (WJRT) - (11/16/17) - Domestic violence and sexual assault is an epidemic affecting approximately 1 in 4 women.

This week's double-shooting in Ortonville has brought the issue into the spotlight, once again.

Michael Quigley will face a judge Friday on attempted murder charges, accused of shooting his estranged wife and her boyfriend Tuesday.

The crime sparked a manhunt that ended Wednesday, when he was discovered by a resident, hiding out in a van.

The Clarkston man remains under suicide watch in the Oakland County jail.

It's the latest incident in a string of local and national headlines involving domestic violence.

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of controlling behavior that may include physical assaults, sexual assaults, emotional abuse, isolation, threats, stalking and intimidation.

Rachel Johnson, the director of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services at the YWCA in Flint says it tends to be all about power and control.

"When they do attempt to leave, set some boundaries, maybe file a PPO, then you'll see behaviors tend to escalate," explained Johnson, “it's a very dangerous time for the woman and her family, a lot of times they're making threats not just against them, but against their children, against their family and close friends, and co-workers."

Johnson says filing a personal protection order or PPO is not always the right move.

As an expert on the matter, she advises women seeking that order to first meet with an advocate or counselor because every situation is unique.

"Safety planning" is crucial.

Women need to know their options ahead of time, which might include relocation and safe housing.

When responding to domestic violence calls, police officers typically arrive in pairs, because of the potential risk for themselves and others.

"If he's just in a house we can slow down, surround the place, call in the negotiators,” says Sgt. Rick Jones of the Michigan State Police, “but if someone's mobile, now you have a problem of other people possibly getting injured. He's a high risk for everybody."

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is help.

The YWCA offers a 24-hour crisis line answered by trained staff who can answer questions and connect survivors with community resources.

The crisis line is (810) 238-SAFE.

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