The Capital Area Response Effort (CARE)
A Domestic Violence Post Arrest Response Team
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior that will usually increase in frequency and severity over time. It is a crime. Therefore, the person experiencing domestic violence may be referred to as a victim. Some people prefer the term survivor to describe those who have experienced intimate partner violence.
Many times when we think of domestic violence, we think of the physical abuse. However, it also includes emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, such as:
- Name calling, humiliation, put-downs
- Mind games
- Extreme jealousy
- Monitoring or stalking
- Blaming the victim for the abuse
- Accusing the victim of having affairs
- Isolation from family and friends
- Controlling the money in the relationship
- Destroying property
- Abusing pets
Anyone can experience domestic violence, and anyone can be an abuser, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, or age. Domestic violence is an equal opportunity destroyer.
What Causes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a learned behavior that stems from one partner’s desire for power and control. People use excuses for their violence such as stress, frustration, anger, alcohol or other drugs, and their childhood experiences. These factors appear in many relationships, and are not the cause of violent behavior.
If you have experienced domestic violence, please know that nothing you did caused the violence to start, no matter what your partner may tell you. You cannot change your behavior to stop the violence. You cannot change your partner’s behavior, either.
The person being abusive has to make the decision to stop. It may be hard for them to change their behavior on their own. A batterer’s intervention group is the most appropriate referral for those who have been abusive in their relationships.
CARE believes you have the power to make decisions about where to go from here. We will be here to aid you in that process.
CARE is the only post-arrest response team for victims/survivors of domestic violence in Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township, East Lansing and on the campus of Michigan State University. A staff member or a team of two volunteers responds to victims at their homes or places of employment, the hospital, or local police department to provide crisis intervention, safety planning, and information about area resources. CARE is available Monday-Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. A staff member responds to calls received between 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Follow up occurs after the initial response to provide victims with an opportunity to ask additional questions or obtain further services. When no arrest is made, staff members follow up with victims by phone. CARE greatly reduces the isolation and confusion experienced by many victims of domestic violence. Many people have no one to talk to about the abuse they are experiencing, do not know their options, and do not know what is going to happen once the police have been called. All CARE services are free and confidential.
CARE was founded in 1996. The four staff members on the team are the CARE Coordinator, Follow-Up Advocacy Coordinator/Volunteer Coordinator, Evening Advocate, and MSU Safe Place/CARE Advocate. Three of the four CARE positions are funded by Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds, disseminated through the Michigan Crime Victims Services Commission, Michigan Department of Community Health. Michigan State University Safe Place provides the opportunity for the MSU Safe Place/CARE Advocate to split her time between the two programs in order to identify MSU-affiliated victims of domestic violence.
In addition to working closely with local police departments and MSU Safe Place, CARE has collaborative relationships with the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, 54A District Court Probation, End Violent Encounters (the Lansing domestic violence program) and many other agencies. The four staff members typically respond to over 1,500 victims per year, either in person or by telephone.
If you have experienced domestic violence and need to talk to someone, please contact the CARE Office.