Coalition Expresses Support for Iberia and St. Martin Parishes Upon Closure of Domestic Violence Service Provider

For Immediate Release: February 20, 2017
Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) today released a statement expressing support for the greater New Iberia community as it weathers the loss of its domestic violence service provider. Safety Net for Abused Persons (SNAP) announced late last week that they would be closing their shelter and ceasing services.
The Interim Executive Director of LCADV, Mariah Wineski, expressed dismay at the closure of SNAP, but was optimistic about the ability to meet the needs of survivors of domestic violence in Iberia and St. Martin Parishes. “We have a strong network of service providers across the state, and neighboring programs have stepped up to ensure that temporary services are provided to survivors in SNAP’s service area.” Chez Hope, headquartered in neighboring St. Mary Parish, has agreed to take all hotline calls and provide outreach services to survivors in Iberia and St. Martin Parishes. “Chez Hope has confirmed that they can offer domestic violence supportive services in the immediate term, so the community still has a safety net in place while we work to transition other services permanently.” said Wineski.
Wineski says that when a shelter closes, one of the neighboring programs will typically offer services temporarily while stakeholders work to locate a new service provider. According to the coalition, there are rigorous standards for providing domestic violence services which are governed by many state and federal laws. The coalition has offered its assistance to key leaders as they determine next steps for the greater New Iberia area.
Wineski also praised the SNAP leadership for their efforts to close the shelter in an organized and ethical manner. “Citizens in the New Iberia area deserve a quality resource for services, support and education as they address the critical issue of domestic violence. We are prepared to offer them training, support and any technical assistance necessary as they transition to a new service provider,” said Wineski.
Domestic violence survivors in Iberia and St. Martin Parishes seeking shelter, temporary restraining orders, or other supportive services should call the statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-888-411-1333. All services at LCADV member programs are free and confidential.

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About The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a statewide network of programs, organizations, and individuals who share the goal of ending domestic violence in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members and communities through advocacy, education, resource development, and technical assistance. LCADV is dedicated to bringing about change in our institutions, laws, politics, attitudes, and beliefs which will allow individuals to live free of violence. For more information, visit www.lcadv.org.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Dating violence is a serious and common type of abuse that affects people of all backgrounds. As teens begin to enter into relationships, it is more important than ever to talk to them about abuse.

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. For more information on dating violence and what you can do to help promote healthy relationships, visit our resource page. 

Coalition Emphasizes Links Between Domestic Violence and Police Officer Homicides

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – In the wake of the recent tragic murders of a pregnant woman and a police officer in Jefferson Parish, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is calling for more recognition of the connection between domestic violence and murders of police officers.

Early Friday morning, Officer Michael Louviere of the Westwego Police Department was murdered as he rendered aid to Simone Veal. Veal had been shot multiple times by her husband, Sylvester Holt, and died later of her wounds. After an hours-long standoff with police, Holt then shot and killed himself.

According to LCADV, this type of crime is all too common. Police officers face extreme danger responding to incidents of domestic violence, and many offenders who murder police officers have a long history of domestic violence. Domestic abuse is often an unrecognized red flag in the criminal histories of many who murder police officers and other first responders. In fact, domestic violence calls are the most dangerous type of call for law enforcement officers. A recent report by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found that domestic violence-related calls represented the highest number of fatal calls for police officers.

Mariah Wineski, interim executive director of LCADV, says close attention should be paid to the connection between domestic violence and murders of police officers. “We are saddened for the families of both victims in this case. We know that when it comes to gun violence, battered women and police officers share similar grim statistics,” Wineski said. Louisiana currently ranks second in the nation in the number of women murdered by men. Likewise, a 2015 analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety found that Louisiana ranks third in the nation for the rate of police officers killed with handguns.

“Officer safety is directly tied to victim safety,” Wineski said, emphasizing the importance of early intervention and accountability for domestic violence offenders. “Domestic violence rarely begins with a homicide. There are typically many incidents that take place over time in the context of control, isolation, and power over the victim. We can make progress toward preventing the murders of women and police officers alike by holding domestic violence offenders accountable for their actions before a homicide occurs.”

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The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a statewide network of programs, organizations, and individuals who share the goal of ending domestic violence in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members and communities through advocacy, education, resource development, and technical assistance. LCADV is dedicated to bringing about change in our institutions, laws, politics, attitudes, and beliefs which will allow individuals to live free of violence. For more information, visit www.lcadv.org.

Notice of Federal Funds Availability

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 $278,747.
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
info@lcadv.org
The deadline for submitting is: January 13, 2017.
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.

Coalition Launches Innovative Financial Empowerment Programs

For Immediate Release: December 20, 2016

Baton Rouge, LA — The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) announced today it received a competitive grant from The Allstate Foundation. The funding will help LCADV implement a Financial Empowerment Program in the Acadiana and Central Louisiana regions. This is the first such grant awarded to a domestic violence organization in Louisiana. The Allstate Foundation’s funding, called the Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment Grant, will support Financial Empowerment Programs at two domestic violence organizations in the Acadiana and Central Louisiana regions: Faith House of Acadiana and Safety Net for Abused Persons. With the support of LCADV, these programs will implement financial education, credit repair, and matched savings programs for survivors of domestic violence.

The coalition notes that financial abuse frequently prevents domestic violence victims from acquiring, using or maintaining financial resources. Abusers employ tactics like preventing their partners from working or accessing a bank, credit card or transportation in order to isolate them. Financial abuse happens in 99 percent of all domestic violence cases – survivors need targeted tools and strategies to address financial struggles and plan for safe, secure futures.

“We are excited to bring this innovative programming to Louisiana,” said Mariah Wineski, Interim Executive Director of LCADV. “We know that financial abuse is a very real barrier to safety for many domestic violence survivors. These programs are unique because they provide the tangible assistance that survivors need to recover from financial abuse. It is really groundbreaking work for Louisiana.”

LCADV is one of 20 organizations nationally to receive a Moving Ahead Through Financial Empowerment Grant. In total, the 20 grants amounted to $1.2 million that will benefit more than 40 programs across the country. Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation has donated more than $50 million to help break the cycle of violence, and has helped more 1,000,000 survivors take steps toward financial independence.

The credit repair, financial education, and matched savings programs are part of a larger effort by LCADV and its member programs to address financial abuse and economic empowerment for survivors of domestic violence in Louisiana. In recent years, LCADV has promoted economic empowerment through its legislative efforts, including workplace protections for domestic violence survivors, child support reform, and equal pay initiatives.

About The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is a statewide network of programs, organizations, and individuals who share the goal of ending domestic violence in Louisiana. LCADV empowers its members and communities through advocacy, education, resource development, and technical assistance. LCADV is dedicated to bringing about change in our institutions, laws, politics, attitudes, and beliefs which will allow individuals to live free of violence. For more information, visit www.lcadv.org.

About The Allstate Foundation:
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, empowering youth and celebrating the charitable community involvement of Allstate agency owners and employees, The Allstate Foundation works to bring out the good in people’s lives. For more information, visit www.AllstateFoundation.org.

Leadership Transition at LCADV

Meeks to Leave Domestic Violence Coalition

For More Information Contact:

Beth Meeks, Executive Director

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Phone:  (225) 752-1296

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 15, 2016

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence announced this morning that effective December 31, 2016 Beth Meeks will be resigning her position as Executive Director after more than 7 years in that role.

Meeks has accepted a position with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) in Washington DC.  NNEDV supports domestic violence coalitions and service providers in all 56 states and territories through resource development, public policy work, technical assistance and training.  It also acts as the national voice on behalf of the domestic violence community to elected leaders at the federal level.

LCADV Board President, Kathy Williams, announced that Mariah Wineski, Director of Public Affairs and Ally Engagement, who has been with the organization for 4 years, will be serving as Interim Director while a search committee locates a permanent Executive Director.

‘Mariah is very familiar with agency staff and programs.  She has a long history with the organization and is respected both inside and out.  We are confident that she will provide the stability and leadership we need during our search.’, said Williams.

Williams, who will oversee the search process, thinks the leadership role at LCADV provides an exciting opportunity.  ‘We have accomplished a lot. We have had many historic public policy victories, achieved significant improvements in service quality throughout the state and we have recently expanded the coalition staff.  We have a really strong staff and board who operate well as a team.  It will be a great experience for the right candidate.’

‘I have learned much, been cared for and seen many positive changes and much growth in the people and community around me.’  said Meeks. ‘It is very hard to leave.  This agency and this state mean so much to me.’

Show Your Support With a Purple Purse Tassel!

LCADV has teamed up with The Allstate Foundation for the 2016 Purple Purse Challenge! This challenge highlights our efforts to end financial abuse and promote economic empowerment for domestic violence survivors, helping them become #freetowalk!

charm

Show your support for survivors of domestic violence with your own purple purse tassel! At only $5 plus shipping, they make a great gift as well! Order yours at http://lcadv.org/purple-purse-tassel/

Louisiana Ranks Second Among Deadliest States for Women

See Press Release Here

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2016

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.