Detroit domestic violence survivor works to provide resources, break cycle for victims

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.


As a child, Katrina Calhoun was sometimes in and out of homeless shelters with her siblings because of abuse at home.

When she grew up, she ended up in an abusive relationship herself and lost her sister to domestic violence. 

"My sister was murdered back in May of 2003 by her husband. Untimely death. This was unexpected. She had 3 children," she said.

Now, she is working to be a resource for others.

"I wanted to do it on my own which is not always the best thing. You do need to talk to a trusted individual," Calhoun said.

This National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan is recognizing what survivors of crime have to endure and the importance of strong support to help them.

According to a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2021 there were more than 4.6 million violent victimizations.

"We have to get this right. There’s nothing more important that we do to ensure that victims are treated with dignity and respect in the process," U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said.

On Thursday, a number of organizations demonstrated their commitment to engaging with victims, learning from their experiences and addressing structural problems like recidivism that affect both the survivors and perpetrators of crimes.

"There are things that we can do where we’re holding people accountable for the crimes they committed but then when they get out they have an opportunity to really get on that straight and narrow path," said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. "Same thing with the expungement program."