LCADV staff supported Chez Hope, Family Crisis Center, as they kicked off a month long domestic violence awareness campaign during their Mayor’s Breakfast, Unity Day and Open House. Chez Hope’s Executive Director Sami Riley addressed a supportive crowd during the breakfast and gave guided tours of Manor House to guests thoughout the day.
LCADV staff supported D.O.V.E.S. and approximately 50 people as they met at the Nachitoches riverfront on Oct. 1, during a Candlelight Vigil where those who lost their lives as a result of domestic violence were remembered.
NOMORE.org is a new symbol that’s spotlighting an invisible problem in a whole new way. It’s the first unifying symbol to express support for ending domestic violence and sexual assault. It can be used by anyone who wants to end domestic violence and sexual assault. Visit www.nomore.org and learn more.
Yesterday we celebrated the 18th Anniversary of the passage of VAWA. Now, let’s send a national, unified message to Congress to swiftly pass a strong, bipartisan VAWA that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims!
We are delighted to announce that Monica Vela-Vick has joined our team as Project Coordinator. Please join us in extending a heartfelt welcome to Monica as she transitions into her new position. We appreciate the interest of all the talented job applicants, wish you the best in your endeavors and hope that you will join us in the fight against domestic violence.
Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Beth Meeks, speaks on D-Talks about the progress being made toward ending domestic violence against women and children, as well as what challenges we face.
Promote happy and healthy lives and families by helping to bring education and awareness to your community! Listen to our very informative interview with Beth!
Billi LaCombe’s two year term as president of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence did not go unnoticed when it concluded earlier this year as she earned the coalition’s Statewide Leadership Award.
LaCombe joined Faith House 14 years ago and has been its director the past decade. She served as president of LCADV from 2010-2012.
During her term, LaCombe made a complete makeover of the LCADV board and the organization as a whole, and initiated changes to its bi-laws, policy and the focus of the coalition.
“We kind of brought it up to date,” says LaCombe.
The board formerly consisted soley of people representing the domestic violence programs across the state, but LaCombe thought its mission could be better served by diversifying.
“We needed to change that because the coalition hopefully will begin funding the programs through different opportunities,” LaCombe says, adding that now the board consists of 60 percent program members and 40 percent community partners “which will be people from unrelated fields like DAs, state legislatures — people that have some influence from the state.”
The state-wide coalition works on things like public policy, the Legislature, presents outlook awareness programs and provides technical assistance and training. There are 20 domestic violence programs that represent every parish in the state, says LaCombe. Faith House serves five parishes in Acadiana.
“All of our programs throughout the state have suffered with the economy,” says LaCombe. “Donations are down, and grant sources are reducing every single year while the amount of work that we are doing is increasing the need for our services and it has been increasing steadily over the past five years.
“So, our coalition is really working hard to bring the resources that we need to be able to saves the lives of battered women and children in the economy.”
The southern portion of Louisiana has the highest rate of domestic violence, but it also has the largest population. “So, it’s all kind of relative,” says LaCombe. “However, we do tend to have more domestic violence homicides and those sorts of things in the southern part of the state.”
LaCombe says it is difficult to get hard numbers on this issue, but the region ranks in the top two or three where domestic violence/homicides and incidents are concerned. A little more than 2,000 people benefited from Faith House services, she says.
And while two domestic centers in the state have closed from a lack of support and funding, Faith House is standing on firm ground.
“Our community has been extremely supportive in many ways,” she says. “While we have seen reductions in donations and things like that, volunteer involvement has increased significantly. So this community really believes in what we do in our work and continues to support us tremendously.”
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Dr. Robert Hanser, associate professor and head of the University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of Criminal Justice, was recognized for his service in preventing violence against women in the state of Louisiana.
Hanser was presented with the award at the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence 30th Anniversary Celebration event.
Hanser has been a long-time community partner of the Family Justice Center in Ouachita Parish and has served on the SAFE Task Force for approximately eight years.
He is the ULM representative on the task force, serving on bi-monthly committee meetings and ad hoc task forces, as assigned.
Hanser has assisted in training on issues related to domestic violence, conducted community research on behalf of the Family Justice Center, aided in grant writing, and is the director and lead facilitator of the Batterer’s Intervention Program for the Fourth Judicial District.
“I really am deeply honored to be held in such high regard by persons who work in this field and feel fortunate to be included in their work here in Louisiana,” said Hanser.
He has also served on a legislatively established statewide task force related to guidelines and standards for batterer intervention programming throughout the state of Louisiana.
Hanser was also recognized for his work as Co-Director of the Violence Prevention and Intervention Program on the ULM campus.
This program is funded by a federal grant through the Office on Violence Against Women with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The VPIP has been successful in educating students, faculty and staff on issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The program has effectively brought together a number of partnering persons and offices on campus as well as agencies throughout the community.
“Of all the areas of interest and emphasis that I have had throughout my career, I am most passionate about this area of advocacy and community service,” said Hanser.
LCADV service awards are provided to a handful of persons each year through a process of nomination, review and selection by majority vote among persons tasked with the recognition and awarding process.