Domestic, sexual violence coalitions host Day at the Capitol April 26

Advocates from all across the state of Louisiana will gather at the State Capitol, 900 North 3rd St., Baton Rouge, on Thursday, April 26, to speak with legislators about the issues of domestic and sexual violence. This is the first ever joint Day at the Capitol by the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) and the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault (LaFASA).

LCADV and LaFASA will have a display table in the Rotunda of the Louisiana State Capitol building from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because the Day at the Capitol is being held in conjunction with both organizations’ 30th anniversaries, the educational display will highlight key milestones from the past 30 years in the movements to end violence. Program advocates will speak with legislators throughout the day to discuss domestic and sexual violence in Louisiana and how legislation can affect programs, victims and survivors.

“It’s very exciting to celebrate our 30th anniversaries together,” said Beth Meeks, LCADV Executive Director, of the joint Day at the Capitol. “The state and our two coalitions have come a long way in 30 years in terms of serving victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.”

One notable milestone for LCADV is its recent report in response to HCR 86 on Domestic Abuse Intervention, which will lead to more comprehensive programs in our state for perpetrators of violence.

“There is no excuse for sexual and domestic violence to still be prevalent in Louisiana,” said Judy Benitez, LaFASA Executive Director. “This joint Day at the Capitol event is so important so our legislators understand the gravity of the issues by speaking with people who serve victims and survivors every day.” According to LaFASA’s 2011 Annual Report, a total of 13,350 sexual assault victims and survivors were served in 2011. That includes criminal justice contacts, hospital contacts, hotline calls, group counseling and individual counseling. At LCADV’s 18 member programs, there were a total of 17,103 clients served in 2011.

For more information, visit the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence at www.lcadv.org and the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault at www.lafasa.org

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