COALITION RELEASES PROTOCOL ADDRESSING CHILDREN WHO WITNESS DOMESTIC HOMICIDE

COALITION RELEASES PROTOCOL ADDRESSING CHILDREN WHO WITNESS DOMESTIC HOMICIDE

Project First of Its Kind in the Nation

Baton Rouge, LA – November 20, 2014 – The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has released a recommended protocol for responding to children exposed to domestic homicides. The protocol, the first of its kind in the nation, became available for download today through the LCADV website.

The protocol was the result of a three year project, funded by the Federal Department of Justice, dedicated to building capacity to assist children exposed to violence. A group of stakeholders and partners, including The New Orleans Children’s Bureau, the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services, participated in authoring the protocol.

LCADV records approximately 60 domestic homicides per year in Louisiana and estimates that at least 100 children per year lose one or both parents in domestic homicides. Annualized over a lifetime this means that there are likely between 8,000 – 10,000 people living in Louisiana who have grown or are currently growing up without a parent due to these tragic crimes.

Louisiana was uniquely situated to author such a protocol due to the high rate of domestic homicides in our state. Louisiana has ranked in the top 5 states leading the nation in domestic homicides for more than a decade. “We know that most of the victims are parents and often their children are on scene when the crimes occur,” said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Unfortunately, we have an uncommon set of experiences and skills in this state because we have had to handle so many of these incidents. We found that there was not much consistency in response and no tools professionals could rely on to lead them.”

The protocol is intended for use by first responders and allied professionals who work in the field of domestic violence. It gives a step by step guide to responding to children who have been affected by domestic violence deaths, whether or not they were on scene at the incident. The protocol walks through a process in chronological order from the time of the incident to the time of a child reintegrating at school.

“We are hoping that communities throughout Louisiana, and the nation, use the protocol to begin conversations about the level of coordination they have in addressing these crimes and what specific resources are available for children who are exposed to this sort of violence.” said Meeks. The protocol is free and comes with an accompanying toolkit that provides educational materials and resources that can be used with families.

Coalition staff are available to provide training and technical assistance to communities wishing to implement the protocol.

To download the full protocol and toolkit, visit http://lcadv.org/cev-homicide-protocol.

Advanced Skills in Domestic Violence Response: A Symposium on Effective Interventions

Risk Assessment Training HeaderJoin us for two day advanced symposium on effective domestic violence interventions.
This multidisciplinary symposium is geared toward seasoned professionals working on domestic violence cases.

This hands-on symposium will address:

– Risk assessment in domestic violence cases
– Specific training on the ODARA risk assessment tool
– Gwen’s Law – how new legislation affects domestic violence response
– Louisiana’s statewide domestic violence homicide protocol
– Advanced interventions for surviving children of domestic violence homicides
– Housing protections for domestic violence survivors


Day One:

Homicide Protocol, Advanced Interventions for Surviving Children of Domestic Homicide, Housing Protections for Domestic Violence Survivors

Day Two:
Gwen’s Law, Risk Assessment, ODARA Risk Assessment Tool

Dates:
November 5 & 6, 2014
8:30am – 5:00pm

Location:
Belle of Baton Rouge Casino Hotel
103 France St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
(225) 242-2600

Registration Fee:  $80 for two days. $50 for a single day.
Group discounts are available for groups of 5 or more. Please contact us to inquire.

Who Should Attend: Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Corrections, Domestic Violence Advocates, Social Workers, any professional who interacts with children exposed to domestic violence.

For more information, visit http://lcadv.org/advanced-skills-symposium.

Register Now

Inside the Mind of an Offender – Interview Techniques Training

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

Date:
Friday, October 3, 2014
8:30am – 1:00pm

Location:
Holiday Inn Metairie
2261 N. Causeway Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70001

Registration Fee:  $40
Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Please contact us to inquire.

Who Should Attend: Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Probation & Parole, Corrections, Batterer Intervention Program facilitators, Legal Advocates, Social Workers to interact with offenders

Continuing Education: Four (4) hours of general Social Work CEUs have been applied for.

More information and registration, please see http://lcadv.org/offender-interviewing

ADVOCATES GATHER TO COMMEMORATE THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

VAWA press release 9-9-14

ADVOCATES GATHER TO COMMEMORATE THE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2014
Contact: Beth Meeks, (225) 752-1296

Washington, DC – September 9, 2014 – Leaders from around the nation gather this week in Washington, DC, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Signed into law in 1994, VAWA drastically changed the landscape of services for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Since then, there have been profound improvements in the response to these crimes across the United States.
Today, several advocates from Louisiana join Vice President Joe Biden at “1 is 2 Many: Twenty Years Fighting Violence Against Women and Girls.” The event commemorates the VAWA anniversary as well as the work of organizations who serve survivors of violence against women.
Four domestic violence programs from Louisiana have been highlighted by the White House as exemplary programs addressing violence against women. These include The Wellspring Alliance for Families in Monroe, The New Orleans Family Justice Center, The Haven in Houma, and Faith House of Acadiana in Lafayette. These program profiles can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many.
“We are honored to take part in this event. It is great to see many of our member programs profiled by the White House. It speaks to the hard work and innovation of the domestic violence movement in Louisiana,” said Beth Meeks, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “The Violence Against Women Act is absolutely crucial legislation that provides much-needed support to survivors of domestic violence. We are grateful to be here with leaders from across the nation as we commemorate its passage and look to the future of the movement to end violence against women.”

# # #
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.

Jurisdictions Use New Law to Hold Offenders Accountable

Pixie Gouaux Act press release 9-9-14

NEW DOMESTIC ABUSE LAW PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY TO REDUCE HOMICIDES

For Immediate Release: September 9, 2014
Contact: Beth Meeks, (225) 752-1296

Baton Rouge, LA – September 9, 2014 – Law enforcement agencies are making use of a new law to keep firearms out of the hands of abusers. According to Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, a Gheens man was charged this week with Domestic Abuse Battery and Possession of a Firearm or Carrying of a Concealed Weapon by a Person Convicted of Domestic Abuse Battery.
The new law, named the Susan “Pixie” Gouaux Act, prohibits anyone convicted of domestic abuse battery from possessing a firearm for 10 years. The Gheens man had been previously convicted of domestic abuse battery in 2011, and had been notified of the new firearm restrictions when they went into effect August 1st. Regardless, he was in possession of a firearm when police were called to his home last week. A warrant was then issued for his arrest, and he was booked this week for violating the new law.
Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers is a top priority for domestic violence advocates in Louisiana. According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 74% of Louisiana’s domestic homicides are committed with firearms. Beth Meeks, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, hopes to see more law enforcement agencies make use of the new law.
“We are glad to see that the law is being utilized and offenders are being held accountable for violating it. We know that, when enforced consistently, laws like this can prevent domestic homicides,” Meeks said.
Meeks stressed the urgency of addressing gun violence committed against women. “Not only does Louisiana have a domestic violence homicide rate significantly higher than the national average, we also have a higher percentage of these homicides being committed with guns.” Nationally, 52.5% of domestic violence homicides are committed with a gun. In Louisiana, this number is 74%. “Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers can prevent countless domestic homicides. We have some very strong laws on the books in Louisiana, and we are pleased to see them being enforced.”

# # #
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.

Guidance on Danger Assessments and Gwen’s Law

On August 1, 2014, Act 318, commonly referred to as ‘Gwen’s Law’, went into effect throughout the state of Louisiana.  Gwen’s Law instructs courts to conduct a danger assessment and take that into account when determining bail in felony offenses committed against a family or household member or dating partner.

LCADV has issued a memo that seeks to provide professionals working on domestic violence cases guidance on danger assessments and their implementation.

Find the memo and related resources here.

ADVOCATES URGE NATIONAL ACTION TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES

For Immediate Release:  4:00pm CST, July 29, 2014

Contact:  Beth Meeks, (225) 752-1296

Baton Rouge, LA – July 29, 2014 – Louisiana domestic violence advocates continue to support legislation that will prevent domestic violence homicides. Beth Meeks, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, will join several advocates from across the nation in Washington, DC, for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Meeks and other advocates have urged Senators to support the Protecting Domestic and Stalking Victims Act by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). This legislation would protect victims of stalking and dating violence by restricting abusive dating partners’ access to firearms. The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, through Senator Mary Landrieu’s office, has provided information to the committee regarding domestic violence related gun deaths in Louisiana. Those scheduled to testify in support of the bill include Dr. Jacqueline Campbell, Sheriff Christopher Schmaling, and Elvin Daniel. Daniel is the brother of Zina Daniel, who was killed by her husband at a Wisconsin salon in 2012. Her husband purchased the firearm online and therefore was not subject to a background check. Two coworkers were also killed in the incident.

Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers is a top priority for Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. This spring, Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into effect a package of domestic violence laws, including a law prohibiting domestic violence offenders from possessing a firearm. Federal law currently prohibits abusive spouses from possessing firearms, but these restrictions generally do not apply to dating partners and those convicted of stalking.

Meeks stressed the urgency of addressing gun violence committed against women. “Not only does Louisiana have a domestic violence homicide rate significantly higher than the national average, we also have a higher percentage of these homicides being committed with guns.” Nationally, 52.5% of domestic violence homicides are committed with a gun. In Louisiana, this number is 74%.  “Keeping guns out of the hands of abusers can prevent countless domestic homicides. Action on this issue is crucial to victim safety in Louisiana and across the nation.”

# # #

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.

 

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.