Domestic Violence is Rooted in Oppression

Strengthening our Resolve in the Wake of Charlottesville

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence extends our sympathies to the families of those injured and killed in last weekend’s white supremacist gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia. We condemn their hatred and the culture of violence and oppression that it sustains. This type of hatred and bigotry emboldens those who use violence, coercion, intimidation, and domination to maintain power over others.

Last weekend’s events in Charlottesville made clear, yet again, the pressing need to dismantle systems of oppression that justify and promote violence. White supremacy is one of many such systems that play a central role in the continuation of gender based violence. We must acknowledge that all forms of oppression contribute to, and justify the existence of, domestic violence.

LCADV’s mission is to end domestic violence, and to do that we must not only acknowledge these systems of oppression, but actively work to end them. We encourage those who seek an end to domestic violence to recognize its roots in white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, and colonialism, and to take an active role in ending them. Only then will we create a society where all can live free of violence.  

Statewide Needs Assessment: Domestic Violence in Louisiana

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence is pleased to publish the results of a 10-month needs assessment of the current state of domestic violence victim services and victims’ needs in Louisiana. The 2017 statewide needs assessment was conducted from August 2016 through May 2017 with the primary objectives of:

  • Reviewing the structure and composition of the field of domestic violence victim services and criminal justice system response to domestic violence in Louisiana.
  • Providing information about the current needs of domestic violence victims and the state of the service delivery and criminal justice systems.
  • Developing the beginnings of a comprehensive understanding of unmet needs and service gaps through the perspectives of both service providers and victims
  • Identifying gaps in available services and barriers to accessing services among populations considered to have specific needs.

This assessment report is designed to provide an analysis of select aspects of domestic violence response in Louisiana, to supplement information already available from other sources, and to identify significant areas of remaining need in our state’s domestic violence response. It is meant to give a voice to domestic violence survivors as it relates to their experience navigating various systems.

In conjunction with information available from other sources, the information in the report can be used for:

  • Providing discussion points for planners and funders.
  • Planning services to meet victims’ immediate needs, as well as their needs related to the long-term impacts of domestic violence victimization on their lives.
  • Prioritizing services so they can be provided in a way that has the greatest impact for victims.
  • Devising system supports to law enforcement, prosecutors, and service providers so they can most effectively meet the needs of victims.
  • Designing the content, location, audience and methods for future trainings.

To access the report and appendices, visit www.lcadv.org/statewide-needs-assessment.

Coalition Announces New Executive Director

Baton Rouge, LA - The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) announced today the hiring of Mariah Stidham Wineski, MS, as the agency’s Executive Director. LCADV is the federally designated statewide coalition of shelters, non-residential programs and individuals working to end domestic violence in Louisiana. Wineski was chosen to lead the Coalition, effective August 1st, after a nationwide search that began in November of 2016.

Wineski brings with her fourteen years of experience in social change and anti-violence work, with a focus on public policy and strategic communications. She has been employed by LCADV for four years, most recently serving as Interim Executive Director since December of 2016. Prior to her work with the Coalition, she served as Director of Education for the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault. She has also coordinated legislative policy, public affairs, and media relations for regional and national women’s health organizations. Ms. Wineski is the current secretary of the Louisiana Domestic Violence Prevention Commission and serves on the Victim Services Advisory Board of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

In accepting the role as Executive Director, Wineski said, “It is an honor to have been selected for this position. I look forward to continuing the great work of LCADV, supporting our vision of a Louisiana where individuals can live free of violence.” Wineski stressed the importance of the Coalition’s work, given Louisiana’s current ranking as second in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men. “Louisiana has made great progress in recent years, but there is clearly much work that remains to be done to address domestic violence in our state. The Coalition has a strong network of members and supporters who work tirelessly to bring an end to domestic violence. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve in this capacity and I look forward to making meaningful progress.”

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.

Advocates Applaud Passage of Bills Expanding Domestic Violence Protections

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) applauded Tuesday’s final passage of bills expanding domestic violence protections in Louisiana. HB 223 by Representative Helena Moreno and HB 27 by Representative Patrick Connick cleared their final legislative hurdle with Senate passage that sends each to the governor’s desk.

The bills close longstanding loopholes in Louisiana’s domestic violence statutes. HB 223 extends the majority of existing domestic violence protections to dating partners. Previously, dating partners who did not live together or share a child were excluded from the protections provided in the domestic abuse battery law. HB 27 changes the definition of “household member” in Louisiana’s domestic abuse criminal statutes to include cohabiting couples of the same sex. Louisiana is one of only two states whose current law explicitly excludes LGBT victims from these protections. “These changes have been a long time coming,” said Mariah Wineski, Interim Executive Director at LCADV. “A large portion of domestic violence survivors have historically been excluded from the legal protections provided in the criminal code.  We applaud today’s legislative victory and look forward to seeing the results of these changes in the field.”

Wineski credits a strong coalition of advocates and supporters for the bills’ success. “Domestic violence is an issue that crosses all social and political boundaries. We are lucky to have a diverse network of people who care deeply about ending domestic violence in our state and are willing to put in the work to see real progress.” The Coalition worked in partnership with several entities to move this legislation through, including the United Way of Southeast Louisiana, various law enforcement and district attorneys’ offices, and local domestic violence advocates across the state.

The bills seek to fix issues in the law that have hindered Louisiana’s domestic violence response for years. According to LCADV, 60% of Louisiana’s intimate partner homicide victims in 2016 were not married to their abusers. Recent high-profile domestic homicides involving couples of the same sex have also brought attention to the disparities in the law. “At the end of the day, these bills will help provide safety for domestic violence victims who currently fall through the cracks.” said Wineski.

The bills were part of a larger package of legislation supported by LCADV.  Three bills by Representative John Schroder, HB 499, HB 509, and HB 524, also passed the Senate on Thursday. These bills advance other portions of the Coalition’s legislative agenda, including enhanced protections for victims of stalking and increased penalties for protection order violations. Wineski praised the progress made this legislative session, “We are grateful for the legislators who are willing to carry these bills and see them through to the end. We have no doubt that these changes will help save lives. It’s a great step forward for our state.”

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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.

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.