Mid-Michigan families band together to change family laws

Best Interest of Children Summit in Caro

Families fill the Tuscola Technology Center, coming together for change.

"We see one in three girls in Michigan will be abused. One in 4,5, or 6 boys. Domestic violence is one in five for spouses. We have to address this," says State Representative Kurt Damrow (R-Port Austin).

The families represent heart-breaking stories involving children.

One of them, the family of 4-year-old Dominick Calhoun, tortured and killed by his mother's boyfriend. Now, the family fights for Dominick's Law, increasing the punishment for child abusers.

"These guys are put back on the street, and they're abusing again. So we're doing something to get some action," says Dominick's grandfather Rick Calhoun.

Elizabeth Herd's grandson, two-year-old Sean Sowards, was tortured and killed by his mother in 2007. Herd says she saw warning signs but that the system did not allow her to act. "You just have to find a way to do something about it. We couldn't do anything at the time, and we're trying to do something now. It's too late for our family," says Herd.

Daniel Quinn hasn't seen his daughter in years. She's the result of a relationship he had with a married woman. Michigan's paternity act, written in the 1950's, keeps him from seeing her. Law-makers could change that soon. "It's long overdue," says Quinn. This is something that should have been done 20 years ago."

Those who attended Saturday's summit plan to present their stories to state law-makers within the next two months with hopes of changing state laws.