Baton Rouge, LA – The Washington D.C. based Violence Policy Center has issued its yearly report on female murder victims, and it paints a grim picture for Louisiana. The report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2016 report, which analyzed homicides committed in 2014, was released yesterday. Louisiana ranks 2nd in the nation, up from 4th the year before.
The report does not count multiple death incidents or incidents where the perpetrator and victim are the same gender. The report reveals that nationwide more than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2014, and the most common weapon used was a gun. 93% of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew.
The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 19 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 31% — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.08 per 100,000 in 2014.
However, a review of the report reveals that Louisiana has failed to make the progress seen in the rest of the nation. The rate in Louisiana remains 2.15 per 100,000, double the national average, and 37% higher than the national average was 19 years ago when the reporting began. The full report can be seen at www.vpc.org.
Despite the somber report, advocates are optimistic that recent legislative changes will improve these statistics in future years. In August of 2014, new laws went into effect in Louisiana that restricted firearm access for domestic abusers. “Unfortunately these new laws were not in effect for the first seven months of 2014,” said Beth Meeks, executive director of Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “We know that with proper implementation, these laws will have an impact on our homicide rate in Louisiana.”
Meeks says there are a number of complicated factors that contribute to the problem in Louisiana, including a lack of services for victims. “We have a significant lack of safety resources for domestic violence survivors in Louisiana. We have large areas with little or no advocacy services and too few shelter beds. Programs are doing the best they can, but without additional funding there just aren’t enough services for persons seeking immediate safety.”
The release of this report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is held throughout the nation in October. Domestic Violence Programs throughout the state are commemorating this month with a wide variety of activities including Take Back the Night marches, candlelight vigils and luncheons. For additional information on domestic violence, or for a list of Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities in your area visit www.lcadv.org.
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The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a statewide network of battered women’s programs, other organizations and individuals who share the goal of ending violence against women and children in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members through advocacy, education, resource development and technical assistance.
Coalition and partner agencies to offer law enforcement training in October
LCADV is pleased to partner with Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and Metropolitan Center for Women and Children to provide an in-depth training for law enforcement on advanced topics in domestic violence response.
Four Sessions Available:
– October 20th, 8:00-12:00
– October 20th, 12:30-4:30
– October 21st, 8:00-12:00
– October 21st, 12:30-4:30
Location: Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Academy 1801 Westbank Expressway Harvey, LA 70058
Domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous calls an officer can respond to. Effective intervention in domestic violence situations can reduce future risk for both the victim and the responding officer. This four hour training addresses two crucial factors in domestic violence investigation: strangulation and predominant aggressor determination.
Training Topics Include:
Identifying strangulation in domestic violence cases
Prevalence and effects of strangulation
Effective documentation of strangulation
Strangulation-related statutes in Louisiana
Advanced domestic violence dynamics
Predominant aggressor determination
Identifying self-defense in domestic violence
Documentation of predominant aggressor factors
This training is intended specifically for law enforcement personnel.
Louisiana is no stranger to natural disaster. Each year, the Gulf Coast faces threats of damaging hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes. Families living in shelter are among the most vulnerable in a natural disaster. Louisiana’s domestic violence shelters are dedicated to keeping survivors safe. When a disaster hits, they do what is necessary to continue providing lifesaving services to survivors of domestic violence.
LCADV’s Domestic Violence Disaster Fund is a dedicated fund that helps Louisiana’s domestic violence shelters keep survivors safe in the face of a natural disaster.
When disaster strikes, the Disaster Fund helps shelters:
replace lost food and supplies
make emergency building repairs
cover other necessary disaster-related expenses
You can help domestic violence survivors weather the storm in safety. Please donate today.
Tax season is rapidly approaching. Two out of every three tax filers will likely receive a refund. You can put that money to good use by making a tax refund donation to LCADV!
As you file your Louisiana state taxes this year, you can donate all or some of your tax refund to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence by selecting LCADV right on your tax return.
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence is dedicated to bringing about change in our institutions, laws, politics, attitudes, and beliefs which will allow individuals to live free of violence. Our work depends on the generosity of people like you.
Your tax refund can power the movement to end domestic violence. So this year, use your tax refund for good.
Notice is hereby given of the availability of federal funds through the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), housed in the U.S. Department of Justice, OJP.
The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) administers and allocates these funds through the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The total amount available to the domestic violence programs is $256,773.
If interested in this competitive opportunity:
Complete Notice of Funding Opportunity, application materials and instructions for
submitting proposals may be obtained from the LCLE website (www.lcle.la.gov).
For questions and additional information contact:
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence
P.O. Box 77308
Baton Rouge, LA 70879
The deadline for submitting is: December 23, 2015
Proposals will be considered for approval at the March meeting.
Representatives of agencies under consideration will be required to attend this meeting in order to receive funding.
LCADV is pleased to announce a half day training for professionals working with children in crisis. Understanding and Interpreting Children’s Art will address:
– Purpose and process of children’s art in crisis services
– Developmental milestones in children’s art
– Components of children’s art and their relationship to child well being
– Guidelines for children’s art interpretation
– Applying children’s art to case plan development
Training Details: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Registration begins at 8:45
American Cancer Society 2605 River Rd.
New Orleans, LA 70121
Registration Fee: $40
Group discounts are available for groups of 5 or more. Please contact us to inquire.
Who Should Attend: Social Workers, Child Welfare Professionals, Domestic Violence Advocates, Anyone working with children in a crisis setting
This program has been approved for 3 general hours of social work CEUs.
Northeast Louisiana Sees Major Reduction in Domestic Homicides
Baton Rouge, LA– October 29, 2015 – On Thursday, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) announced that Northeast Louisiana has achieved what appears to be a significant and longstanding reduction in domestic homicides.
LCADV tracks domestic homicide data for the state of Louisiana and conducts regular analysis of trends in the state. They release information yearly in October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Their review of recent data shows that Northeast Louisiana has seen a drop of roughly 70% in domestic homicides since 2011, and that drop has remained consistent for four years now.
LCADV Executive Director Beth Meeks calls this a significant breakthrough. “We are seeing data here that is not temporary or accidental. This represents the first time in almost 20 years of tracking that we can identify progress in Louisiana on reducing domestic homicides. It is an understatement to call it impressive. ”
LCADV has tracked domestic homicide data since 1997. The Northeast Louisiana (NELA) region is defined as the 12 parishes served by The Wellspring, the domestic violence service provider in Northeast Louisiana. These parishes include: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East and West Carroll, Franklin, La Salle, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Tensas.
In the years 1997-2011 NELA averaged slightly more than six domestic violence homicides per year. After 2011, the average fell to two deaths per year, a roughly 70% drop. The currently estimated national rate of femicide, as determined by the Violence Policy Center in its yearly report is 1.09 per 100,000. The most recent rate for Louisiana is 1.99 per 100,000. The current NELA rate is .63 per 100,000, about 40% lower than the national average and more than 60% lower than the Louisiana rate.
LCADV notes that this region has never before had four consecutive years that posted three or fewer domestic violence homicides, and this reduction was not observed in other regions in the state.
The drop in homicides coincides with procedural and programming changes that were implemented in 2011. Meeks credits a solid coordinated community response, led by The Wellspring, for successfully creating systemic changes that made this progress possible. “Starting in 2011, the entire criminal justice system here put in place processes and interventions that have been known to reduce domestic violence homicides. Obviously those choices are paying off.” As an example, she says, they used specialized prosecutors and an accelerated docket for domestic violence cases. They increased the number of victimless prosecutions, put batterers on probation, used batterer intervention programs, eliminated pre-set bonds for domestic violence offenders, meaning they usually see a Judge before being released, and implemented supervised visitation programming.
Meeks believes these sorts of changes can be replicated throughout Louisiana but cautions that they are not effective unless implemented within specific parameters. “You can’t just call it batterers’ intervention or supervised visitation, it has to follow certain specific practices and methods to be effective. But Northeast Louisiana has proven that it can be done, and most importantly it can be done in Louisiana. There is no excuse for continued domestic homicides at this rate. We know how to solve this.” Meeks says many jurisdictions throughout Louisiana have been sharing information in an attempt to learn how best to reduce domestic violence and she is confident that they will look to this section of the state for guidance. “There are absolutely lots of communities; law enforcement, advocates, judges, and prosecutors, who have been working in partnership to try to understand and reduce domestic homicides. I am confident many of them will look to their colleagues in this section of the state for advice on how to advance their own work. ” said Meeks.
The announcement comes as the Family Justice Center of Ouachita Parish, an organization piloted by The Wellspring which brought the coordinated community response together, celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
For additional information on domestic violence, and to learn ways to get involved, visit www.lcadv.org.
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The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a state wide network of battered women’s programs, other organizations and individuals who share the goal of ending violence against women and children in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members through advocacy, education, resource development and technical assistance.