MT. CLEMENS, Mich. – The family of a Metro Detroit mother of two who was killed two years ago is teaming up with a local band to spread the word against domestic violence.
Julie Williamson's family wants to turn grief into action. There are still questions surrounding how she was killed two years ago after a bachelorette party, but her mother believes Williamson's boyfriend was responsible.
Amanda Lyberg is the lead vocalist for Eva Under Fire, which recently put out a call to its fans to get involved in the making of the band's new music video for its upcoming single, "I Will Fight."
"Our producer said, 'Well, why don't we make it like a campaign and we will throw it out and see if people will come on-site to film with us and talk about what they fight for,'" Lyberg said.
The lyrics of the song touched Williamson's mother, Cheryl Simmons, who said she felt compelled to contact Lyberg.
"Mostly, we just put out the hashtag, '#IWillFight,' and people responded just to that title," Lyberg said. "All of a sudden, it didn't matter what we intended the song to be about. It was what they made it. So that was one of the things that I felt was just awesome."
Local 4 shared Simmons' story about the loss of her daughter, who was found unconscious and naked on her front lawn. You can read or watch that full story here.
Simmons believes Williamson was in an abusive relationship with 41-year-old Michael Rosenmund, whom she had been dating for three months.
Rosenmund is set to head to trial in connection with the case.
"I want people to know that Julie was a beautiful person inside and out," Simmons said. "A beautiful mom, a loving soul. She cared for everybody around her. She loved her kids and she would want us to fight for her."
"I think it's such a sad story and such a sad place that they're in, but so beautiful the way that they've handled it and tried to get involved and inspire others," Lyberg said.
Even the band members were surprised by the response to their campaign.
"I think people responded so well to that because people listen to rock and roll for several reasons but, most of the time, it's because they have some invested, emotional thing, that, 'This struck me because I've lost someone,' or, 'I went through that struggle,' or, 'This was an important time in my life,'" Lyberg said.
Williamson's 11-year-old son was also invited to be in the video, along with other Metro Detroit families. They're all doing it for different reasons, but the message is the same.
"When you have the opportunity to sit there in the midst of people who've -- just the grief and the loss that they've experienced -- there's no timeline for that. You just don't heal," Lyberg said. "Music helps them, and to hear them tell me that our music helped them and that they were inspired by us wanting to reach out and get them involved to be part of this, it transcends the music entirely. Now it's about human connection and inspiring one another, which is amazing."
"She would want us to fight, and that 'I Will Fight' campaign by Eva Under Fire is for anybody who has that will," Simmons said. "We all have the strength in us somewhere, and that's what her song is bringing to a lot of people in the community: to bring us all together."