Coalition to Train on Interpreting Children’s Art

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Understanding and Interpreting Children’s Art

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

Continuing Education:
This program has been approved for 3 general hours of social work CEUs.

Register Here

Advocates Denounce Domestic Homicide Analogy

Baton Rouge, La. – We are deeply saddened at the statements of St. Tammany Republican Parish Executive Committee President Peter Egan, who yesterday compared a cross-party endorsement to a domestic homicide.

These comments are particularly unfortunate in a state that consistently leads the nation in domestic homicides. It is never acceptable to diminish domestic violence by using it in an analogy that misrepresents or minimizes the issue.

Domestic violence is not about an anger control problem, it is about one person’s intentional and directed attempts to control another through power tactics, including threats and physical violence.  In fact, domestic homicides are rarely perpetrated by someone with anger and impulse control problems. They are often telegraphed well in advance by a perpetrator’s behavior and verbal threats.

Any comments that make this terrible act of violence seem simply unfortunate and unavoidable mislead the public about what kinds of interventions would actually reduce these homicides and offers perpetrators a sympathetic excuse for their behavior.  Using an analogy that showcases a perpetrator as ‘jilted’ implies that he was simply a victim who was acting out.  These homicides rarely occur as the result of infidelity, despite myths like this being supported in popular culture.  Even if this were the case, the penalty for adultery is not death.

It is imperative that when our leaders speak about a topic of such gravity they give it the appropriate deference and make statements that are factually correct; statements that further the public understanding rather than promote harmful stereotypes.

Exercising your first amendment right to freedom of speech is, in fact, nothing like killing your wife.  No one is dying when a member of one identity group supports a member of another group.  Comparing a political disagreement to a murder at the hands of an intimate partner encourages others to see that crime in a less than serious way and reduces the importance we assign to this issue.  Only when we agree that this topic should never be treated lightly can we make progress on building more peaceful families for our Louisiana neighbors.

For additional information on domestic violence, or to learn ways to get involved, please visit

Northeast Louisiana Sees Major Reduction in Domestic Homicides

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

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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.

Statewide Meeting of Batterer Intervention Program Providers

LCADV is pleased to announce the second statewide Assemblage of Batterer Intervention Program Providers.

This meeting gives providers a chance to network with other providers around the state, hear about new legislation affecting batterer programs and learn about future training and partnership opportunities.

This meeting is free of charge and open to all professionals providing batterer intervention programming in Louisiana.

Meeting logistics are as follows:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Jones Creek Regional Branch Library
6222 Jones Creek Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70817
Meeting Room #3

Please contact us to RSVP.

Louisiana Still Among Deadliest States for Women

For Immediate Release – September 16, 2015

Baton Rouge, LA – The Washington D.C. based Violence Policy Center has issued its yearly report on female murder victims and the news is not good for Louisiana. The report reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2015 report titled, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data was released yesterday, and once again Louisiana ranks 4th in the nation.

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 2013 and the most common weapon used was a gun. 94 % of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 % were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers.

The study also found that black women are disproportionately impacted by fatal domestic violence. In 2013, black females were murdered by men at a rate of 2.36 per 100,000, two and a half times higher than the rate of white women murdered by men – 0.95 per 100,000.

The Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women annually for 18 years. During that period, nationwide the rate of women murdered by men in single victim/single offender incidents has dropped 31 percent — from 1.57 per 100,000 in 1996 to 1.09 per 100,000 in 2013.

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 1.99 per 100,000, 83% higher than the national average and 27% higher than the national average was 18 years ago when the reporting began.

The report details Louisiana numbers and shows that 16% of the victims were under 18 years of age and more than half were African American women. In the cases that represent domestic violence homicides, 58% were committed with firearms. The full report can be seen at

Despite the grim report, advocates remain optimistic that changes over the last few years will improve these statistics in the long run. “We have made a lot of great policy changes but it takes many years for those policy changes to get fully implemented on the ground in local communities.” said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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 resources that makes it difficult for victims to access safety services. 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 report is released to coincide 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

# # #

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.


Coalition Advocates Caution in Wake of Latest Homicide

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2015

Domestic Violence Coalition Advocates Caution in Wake of Latest Homicide


Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The statewide domestic violence coalition is expressing concern over comments made in the wake of a domestic homicide this week. Monica Johnson of Geismar, Lousiana, was murdered by her estranged husband on Sunday. In response, some community members have advocated that battered women should get guns to protect themselves from their abusers.

“We believe that victims of domestic violence should have the right to firearms for protection if they so choose. And we know some women say they feel safer with a firearm. We just want to make sure people understand that owning a firearm does not guarantee safety, and in cases of domestic violence it actually increases risk significantly.” said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

According to research by Mayors Against Illegal Guns the presence of a firearm in a domestic violence situation increased the risk of homicide by 500% for women. And a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that over 70% of battered women had been threatened with a gun, while only 7% had used a gun successfully in self-defense.

Telling battered women to kill their abusers can have unintended consequences. Rarely does a self-defense claim work for these women, and as many as 90% of the women in prison today for killing men had been battered by those men. Additionally, when women are sentenced, on average, they receive more than twice the sentence men receive when they kill their partners.

“Beyond the statistics we must realize that even when it is necessary, taking another life creates deep emotional trauma that has long lasting effects.” Meeks said. “Our goal here should be to reduce all homicides, not merely exchange victims.”

Meeks says many communities across the nation have made dramatic reductions in their domestic homicide rates through practices such as expedited dockets, risk assessment, high risk management teams, and intensive monitoring of offenders. “If we are as committed to stopping domestic violence as we say we are, then we simply must retool our interventions to mirror what we know works.”

# # #

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.

Coalition Launches Partnership with Miss Louisiana USA

Domestic Violence Coalition Launches Partnership with Miss Louisiana USA

Miss LA USA Press Release 03-16-15

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Miss Louisiana USA, Candice Bennatt, has chosen domestic violence as her signature cause during her reign. With a compelling personal history of having overcome a violent relationship, Bennatt looks forward to sharing her experience and message of hope with others. She has chosen to partner with Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence to serve as a celebrity ambassador for the cause.

“We are thrilled to partner with Ms. Bennatt to increase awareness of domestic violence across the state and advocate for meaningful change,” said Beth Meeks, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Ms. Bennatt’s dedication to ending domestic violence is impressive, and this partnership will help bring domestic violence issues to the forefront of the statewide conversation.”

Domestic violence remains a serious problem, with Louisiana consistently leading the nation in domestic homicides. The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence tracks these homicides and says from 2010 through 2012 there were 178 deaths due to domestic violence. 74% of these were committed with firearms and 37% of the offenders had a prior history of domestic violence or other violent crimes. The murder rate of women in Louisiana has been as much as twice the national average in recent years.

It is statistics like these that the coalition hopes to change. On April 28th, Bennatt will join domestic violence and sexual assault advocates from across the state at the 4th Annual Day at the Capitol, hosted by Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault. This event will include display tables in the Rotunda of the Louisiana State Capitol building from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and a presentation on the Capitol Steps will begin at 9:00 a.m. Advocates and supporters will speak with legislators throughout the day to discuss domestic and sexual violence in Louisiana and how legislation can affect programs, advocates, and survivors.

On the evening of April 27th, the coalitions will host the 4th Annual Purple and Teal Reception to honor allies in the movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Miss Louisiana USA will also be present at the reception to share her personal story of hope and resilience in the aftermath of abuse. Several legislators and service providers will also be honored for their efforts in recent years. Tickets can be purchased online at

“Our Day at the Capitol events provide a great opportunity for ordinary citizens to make a difference by participating in meaningful advocacy with their elected officials,” said Meeks. “We are pleased to have Miss Louisiana USA Candice Bennatt join us for Day at the Capitol and the Purple and Teal Reception, and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the future.”

More information on Day at the Capitol events can be found at


“Being a victim of domestic violence has a stigma. But what if you had other options that could help you transform from a victim to a survivor? Those options may seem unattainable, but it is never too late. By saying YES to your life, and YES to your dreams you can break the cycle of abuse for yourself and for future generations as I have in my very own life. One of my favorite quotes says, “If life knocks you down, try to land on your back because if you can look up, you can get up.” Your immediate circumstances are not the end of the road. Find the reasons in your life that will keep you going, keep you strong, and help you overcome temporary obstacles. I was a severely abused by my high school boyfriend, but today I am proud to say I am a survivor!”

-Candice Bennatt- Miss Louisiana USA 2015

Use your tax refund for good

tax_header_2_Tax season has begun. Two out of every three tax filers will likely receive a refund. Why not 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 works to end domestic violence through education, public policy, and social change. Our success depends on the generosity of our supporters.

So this year, put your tax refund to work in the movement to end domestic violence.

Thank you for your support!

Training to be Offered in North Louisiana: Offender Interview Techniques

LCADV is pleased to announce that we will bring our highly successful training program to North Louisiana in February.

Join us for a half-day training that will take you inside the mind of a domestic violence offender and provide useful and effective interviewing techniques.

Domestic violence experts with decades of experience interacting with violent offenders will address:

– Advanced domestic violence dynamics
– Batterer tactics and characteristics
– Predominant aggressor determination
– Investigative interview techniques
Crawford v. Washington implications
– Technology use by batterers

Friday, February 13, 2015
9:00am – 1:00pm

Public Safety Building
1810 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite B
Monroe, LA 71202

Registration Fee:  $40

Who Should Attend: Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Probation & Parole, Corrections, Batterer Intervention Program facilitators, Legal Advocates

More information: