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

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

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

While Amber's loved ones knew Derek was abusing her, they could not convince Amber to leave him. Fear, threats, and reasons that were perhaps only known to Amber kept her in the violent relationship that ultimately claimed her life.

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

Resources and Tools for Victims of Domestic Violence

  • Some abusers keep such a tight grip on their victims that even an internet search isn't safe or private. The state of Michigan has tips on how to safely find the help you need without tipping off the abuser. Click hereYou can find tools to develop a safety plan and tips.
  • You can view resources for each county in the state of Michigan by clicking here. The page also has a large red button near the top that will quickly take you away from the page should your abuser walk in mid-search.

If you live in Battle Creek as Amber did, there are multiple shelters where victims can find shelter 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 keeping a victim from leaving.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233).

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