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November 14, 2012 - Police respond to dozens of domestic violence calls in Brandon Township every year.

Each call, and each situation is different from the next and the end result of those calls varies wildly. Arrests are often made, sometimes charges are brought. Victims are often afraid of their attacker and refuse to testify against or leave their abusive partner for fear of retribution.

But in at least one domestic violence case in the past 14 months, an abusive husband was charged, and his wife did escape the cycle of violence with the help of Oakland County Sheriff's Office Detective Dale Brown.

On Thursday, Brown was recognized for his actions as he received the Oakland County Domestic Violence Hero Award during the 2012 Domestic Violence Prevention Awards at the Oakland County Commissioner's Auditorium. The ceremony also memorializes victims who have lost their lives at the hands of their abusers.

"It's a great honor to receive this award," said Brown. "A lot of teamwork went into providing assistance to the victim to improve her living conditions and her life. Every domestic violence case is unique to the environment of every individual home. You can't treat them all the same, because there is a strew of extenuating circumstances unique to each situation."

In the case for which Brown is receiving special recognition, Brandon deputies responded to an emergency call Sept. 1, in which the victim reported her husband was threatening to kill her. While police were en route to the scene in the 100 block of E. Glass Road, he began choking her and she blacked out. When she regained consciousness she tried to flee the house, but he caught her. At that time, police arrived. The husband was captured after running out the back door and attempting to scale a fence. He would later plead no contest and served a year in jail for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and resisting and obstructing police. He was recently paroled.

Brown assisted the victim in this case by relocating her to a new home with the assistance of funding from HAVEN, a counseling center for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Megan Widman is director of social action at HAVEN and co-chair of the Oakland County Coordinating Council Against Domestic Violence, which selects the winners of the Domestic Violence Prevention Awards. The council was founded in 1994 and its members include judges, prosecutors, police officers, legislators, social service providers, educators, healthcare providers, clergy, and other concerned members of the community.

The group began giving out awards around 1997 to recognize community members "who go above and beyond in domestic violence prevention."

"This year we had many nominations," said Widman. "Dale was one of only four heroes chosen because of his efforts in assisting the victim and assuring her safety. He really provided a lot of assistance that you normally wouldn't see. He increased her safety and ability to move on with her life and have security and that is why we feel he is deserving of this award."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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