Free Training Opportunity In Shreveport

LCADV is pleased to announce a free half-day training in Shreveport, LA.

Children Exposed to Violence: When Domestic Violence Meets Child Abuse

Training Information:

Thursday, July 17, 2014
9:00am-12:00pm

Northwest Regional Reentry Facility
1121 Forum Dr.
Shreveport, LA  71107

Learning objectives:
- Explore the dynamics of domestic violence
- Recognize the needs of children exposed to domestic violence
- Acquire screening techniques and risk and protective factors that are unique to domestic violence
- Apply evidence based developmental and age-appropriate interventions
- Formulate a model case plan applicable to children exposed to domestic violence

Who Should Attend:
Child welfare professionals, behavioral health professionals, social workers who come into contact with children

Registration:
This training is free. However, space is limited and registration is required.

Continuing Education:
This training has been approved for 3.0 general hours of continuing education credit by the National Association of Social Workers – Louisiana Chapter, as authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Social Workers.

Click here for more information and registration.

Upcoming Training: Safe and Positive: The Intersection of Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS

DV-HIVJoin us for this dynamic half-day training, presented by LCADV in partnership with HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region Two (HAART). 

Domestic violence and HIV/AIDS experts will address:

  • Advanced Domestic Violence Dynamics
  • Cutting edge data on HIV transmission, progression, and prevention
  • Intersection of Domestic Violence with HIV/AIDS
  • Impact of socioeconomic disparities on the well-being of HIV/AIDS and domestic violence survivors.
  • Promising practices to enhance safety for survivors of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS
  • Collaborative advocacy efforts

Date:
Tuesday, June 24th
9:00am – 1:00pm

Location:
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
402 N. 4th St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

More information and registration here.

LCADV Expresses Support for Shreveport Community

Press release in PDF format: Providence House closure Press Release 4 11 14

April 11, 2014 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) today released a statement expressing support for the Shreveport community as it weathers the loss of its domestic violence service provider after Providence House announced they would be closing their safe house. 

The Executive Director of the coalition, Beth Meeks, was optimistic about the ability to meet the needs of survivors of violence in Shreveport and surrounding areas. “The good news is that you have two very strong neighbors, DART and Project Celebration are both widely recognized as high quality domestic violence programs.”  Project Celebration is well known in Shreveport as they are the sexual assault service provider for the region and already have an office in Shreveport.  “Project Celebration has confirmed that they can offer domestic violence supportive services through their outreach office so the community still has a safety net in place while we work to transition other services.” said Meeks.     

Meeks says that typically in these situations one of the neighboring programs will offer services at least temporarily while community stakeholders work to locate a new service provider.   The coalition has offered its assistance to key leaders as they consider next steps.  According to the coalition, there are rigorous standards for providing domestic violence services which are governed by many state and federal laws. 

Meeks also praised the Providence House leaders who implemented an exit plan and have agreed to work with anyone who is willing to take on the services and pledged the support and guidance of the coalition as leaders move forward.  “We are keenly aware that citizens in the Shreveport area need and deserve a quality resource for services, support and education as they address this critical community concern.  We are prepared to offer them training, support and any technical assistance necessary to get a service provider in place.” said Meeks.

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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.

Louisiana Moves to Restrict Abusers’ Access to Firearms

PDF Download: LA press release DV bills 4 3 2014

For Immediate Release: April 3, 2014
Contact: Russell Bonewitz, (225) 752-1296

Baton Rouge, LA – April 3, 2014 – On Thursday, three domestic violence bills, sponsored by Representative Helena Moreno, cleared their second legislative hurdle, passing in the House of Representatives unanimously. HB 753, restricting access to firearms by domestic violence offenders, did not only pass unanimously. It also saw 54 legislators sign on as co-authors, 22 Republicans and 31 Democrats, a huge feat in a state widely considered to have the strongest protections for gun owners in the nation.

The package of bills also strengthens protective orders and amends the crime of domestic abuse battery. Earlier in the week, two bills by Senator JP Morrell that allow domestic abuse victims to waive the divorce waiting period and seek exemplary damages in lawsuits against their abusers passed the full Senate, also unanimously.

Louisiana consistently leads 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. There were 16 multiple victim incidents resulting in 35 deaths, practically all of which were committed with firearms. The murder rate of women in Louisiana has been as much as twice the national average in recent years.

Beth Meeks, Executive Director of LCADV, believes the passage of these bills goes a long way in reducing these homicides. “This is a huge first step toward solving the problem. We have more to do, like increase the safety net for victims, but today proves that safe families are a bipartisan priority for Louisiana. We are immensely grateful for the legislators who were brave enough to take this issue on. ”

House bills 747, 750, and 753 by Rep. Moreno will be heard by the Senate later this month. Senate bills 291 and 292 by Sen. Morrell will be heard by the House. The Coalition expects a strong presence from advocates, domestic violence survivors, and community members throughout the process. “People are really tired of losing their friends and families to these senseless homicides. The support has been overwhelming and we expect it to continue to be strong.” said Meeks.

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.

Survey Reveals Dwindling Resources for Domestic Violence Victims

Download as PDF: Census press release 3-25-14

For Immediate Release:  March 25, 2014
Contact for LCADV:  Russell Bonewitz, (225) 752-1296
Contact for NNEDV:  Monica McLaughlin, 202-543-5566; mmclaughlin@nnedv.org

Baton Rouge, LA – March 25, 2014 – This month, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) released a new research report that found, in a single 24-hour period, more than 66,000 victims of domestic violence received help and support from service organizations in the United States, yet nearly 10,000 more who needed assistance could not be helped due to a lack of adequate resources.

In Louisiana, 721 victims received services in that 24-hour period, but 167 could not be helped because local programs here didn’t have sufficient resources.

“We know we have a significant lack of resources”, said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  “To house the portion of these women and their children seeking shelter services we estimate we would need 700 shelter beds throughout the state. We currently have about 400.”

The report, “Domestic Violence Counts 2013: A 24-hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and Services,” examined a random day, September 17, 2013, and collected information from 1,649 domestic violence programs throughout the United States from midnight to midnight on that day. It identifies needs that were met and unmet on that day and provides a snapshot of how budget cuts are affecting the staffing and resources of these organizations.

Key findings for Louisiana include this 24-hour data from September 17, 2013:

  • 721 domestic violence victims and their children received services in just one day
  • 334 calls to domestic violence hotlines were answered.
  • 167 requests from domestic violence victims were turned down because programs did not have the resources to provide them.  These included requests for emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare and legal representation.
  • 34% of unmet requests were from victims who had chosen to flee their abusers, and were seeking safe emergency or transitional housing.

“Every day in this country, victims of domestic violence are bravely reaching out for help, and it’s essential that they have somewhere safe to go,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of the NNEDV.  “We have made so much progress toward ending violence and giving survivors avenues for safety.  But continued program cuts jeopardize that progress and jeopardize the lives of victims.”

When nationwide program providers were asked what most likely happens when services are not available, 60% said the most likely outcome was that victims returned to their abusers, 27% said the victims become homeless, and 11% said that victims end up living in their cars.

The research also shows initial impacts of the new guidelines in the Affordable Care Act, which require healthcare providers to screen patients for domestic violence and refer victims to services. Data collected for this study shows that since these guidelines have been in effect, there has been an 18.5% increase in referrals received nationwide by domestic violence programs; a number that experts predict will only increase as the ACA takes full effect.

The number of unmet needs is related to the financial resources of these programs. In 2013, 1,696 staff positions were cut due to funding reductions, an average of 1.2 staff per program. Of the staff that were cut in 2013, 70 percent were direct service positions, such as case managers, advocates, shelter staff, and child advocates.

“Nothing feels as hopeless as reaching out to save your life and your kids’ lives and hearing that no one can help.  We see the real consequences of that every day in Louisiana with our staggering number of domestic homicides.  Every community should make improving this system a priority.”  Meeks concluded.

Download the full “Domestic Violence Counts 2013” census report at www.nnedv.org/census.

For additional information on domestic violence, or to find the domestic violence service provider in your area 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.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a 501(c)(3) social change organization, is dedicated to creating a social, political and economic environment in which domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking no longer exist. As the leading voice for domestic violence victims and their allies, NNEDV members include all 56 of the state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence, including over 2,000 local programs. NNEDV has been a premiere national organization advancing the movement against domestic violence for almost 25 years, having led efforts among domestic violence advocates and survivors in urging Congress to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.nnedv.org.

Domestic Violence Advocates Support Proposed Legislation

 Press Release on proposed DV legislation 2.2014

Domestic Violence Advocates Support Proposed Legislation 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 28, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT:

Russell Bonewitz
russell.bonewitz@lcadv.org
225.752.1296

Baton Rouge, La. – As bills poured in to meet the pre-filing deadline for the 2014 legislative session in Louisiana, several emerged that will create significant changes to the domestic violence laws here.  Most notably a package of bills introduced by New Orleans lawmakers Representative Helena Moreno (D) and Senator JP Morell (D).

The Policy Committee for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, or UWSELA, is leading the efforts to create reform.  They have been working for months with a broad group of allies to gain support for the legislation.  The relationship between UWSELA and domestic violence advocates was forged last year when the UWSELA were critical supporters in fighting the budget cuts to domestic violence programs.  Those cuts were eventually averted by the legislature.

Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence credits that experience and some high profile homicides this year for stirring the public.  “I think after the budget battle and then some of the events last year, people were angry.  People are tired of women and children being disposable.  This does not reflect the values of Louisiana.  We are a strong family state and these women felt like someone needed to take a stand, rightly so.”

Louisiana consistently leads the nation in domestic homicides and has done so since 1997.  LCADV 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.  There were 16 multiple victim incidents resulting in 35 deaths, practically all of which were committed with firearms.  The murder rate of women in Louisiana, most recently measured at 40% higher than the national average, has been twice the national average in recent years.

“If a virus was killing people in Louisiana at a rate twice as high as the rest of the nation we’d declare a public health emergency.  Every leader would be working around the clock to stop it.  Why don’t we have that sense of urgency about the murders of our mothers and wives?”  Meeks questioned.

Some of the proposed legislation tightens laws holding offenders accountable for violence against their families.  Others will likely be a tougher sell, including some seeking to restrict an abuser’s access to firearms.  Meeks is optimistic that constituents and lawmakers can get behind the measures, “I trust the people of Louisiana to love their neighbors and their families enough to understand what we are asking for.  We’re simply saying if you are a person who is willing to assault your family you don’t deserve a firearm.”

A poll conducted by Schoen LLC and released less than a year ago showed the vast majority of Louisiana residents support comprehensive background checks on gun purchases. At the time pollster Doug Schoen said, “That 85 percent of Louisiana residents want every gun buyer to pass a criminal background check speaks volumes about the changing public mood on guns.  This margin is unlike any I’ve seen on this issue, and it marks a real sea change. Voters want their elected officials to fight gun violence, and after Newtown, they’re demanding it.”

Meeks believes lawmakers can be counted on to stand up for victims.  “Some of these deaths were family members who tried to intervene and save a relative’s life.  We owe them something in return.  They were brave enough to give their lives, we should be brave enough to pass a law.”

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