Lafayette native honored for tireless work in domestic violence field

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

For Immediate Release

November 29, 2012

Lafayette native honored for tireless work in domestic violence field

Baton Rouge, La. – Ralph C. Peters was presented with the Leanne Knot Memorial Award during a luncheon in honor of his tireless work in the domestic violence field during the 9th Annual Conference on Sexual Assault and Family Violence being held at the Baton Rouge Marriott, Nov. 27-29.

The Leanne Knot Memorial Award recognizes an individual within our state who has made a significant contribution, either through their employment or as a volunteer, in the area of
prevention or intervention in domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

For the past thirty years, Peters has provided education to law enforcement on domestic violence investigation techniques and working with victims. The Lafayette native currently serves on the board of directors at both the Domestic Violence Education and Support Groups (D.O.V.E.S.) located in Natchitoches, La., and Faith House located in Lafayette, La., which are member programs of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“It is my profound honor to present this award to Ralph Peterson,” said Tracy Dahmer-Farris, Domestic Violence Director at the Attorney General’s Office. The Hammond native described Peterson as being invaluable in that he always makes himself available to train fellow law enforcement officers, advocates and the general public which helps in the effective prosecution of offenders.

The Leanne Knot Memorial Award was established in 1998 to honor the memory of Leanne Knot, a Tulane University graduate student who was abducted, raped and murdered in New Orleans on Feb. 14, 1997, following the close of the First Annual Collaborating to STOP Violence Against Women Conference, where she had served as a volunteer.

“This award is so meaningful because it allows us to honor those who work to end sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence in Louisiana,” said Judy Benitez, Executive Director of the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault. “Ralph Peters has been a true asset in our field and we are delighted he is this years’ award recipient.”

“It’s not me who should be getting an award,” said the very humble Peters to the cheering crowd of advocates during his acceptance speech. “It’s all of you who are out here helping those who need it most. Ya’ll are the real heroes.”

His wife, Linda S. Peters, was present and beaming as she stated how very proud she was of her husband’s untiring work. “I know this field is where his heart is and I am happy to support him.”

“We appreciate Ralph’s decades long commitment in the domestic violence movement, said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “He is one of the many community volunteers that really help keep our agencies up and running. I encourage people all over Louisiana to follow his example and support local agencies to help send a clear message that Louisiana does not tolerate domestic violence.”

“Ralph’s longtime commitment to ending sexual assault and domestic violence has advanced the overall mission of our movement in Louisiana,” said Billi J. Lacombe, Faith House Director who nominated Peters for the award. “His greatest contribution to the domestic violence movement has been to change the methods used by law enforcement in their treatment of perpetrators and victims.”

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