Domestic Violence Coalition Secures Landmark Funding for Domestic Violence Housing Program

Baton Rouge, LA — The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) announced today that it has received funding to promote housing security among domestic violence survivors. The million dollar grant is a broad expansion of a pilot program launched earlier this year. The grant expands LCADV’s Domestic Violence Flexible Housing Assistance Program to every region of the state, hoping to bring statewide impact to an issue all too common among domestic violence victims: homelessness.

Domestic violence and homelessness are closely related. Domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children, and the need for safe and affordable housing is one of the most commonly reported concerns for survivors of domestic abuse. A recent study of homeless women with children found that 80% had previously experienced domestic violence. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem, with many domestic violence victims having secured safe housing away from their abusers, only to lose their jobs and face eviction as a result of the pandemic.

In its 5-month pilot project earlier this year, the Coalition partnered with 11 domestic violence organizations across the state to provide direct, low-barrier, and flexible housing assistance to domestic violence survivors. The pilot saw over 600 victims secure stable housing, a key step to long-term security. The funds secured this month expand the program into every parish of the state, a move the Coalition hopes will provide safe housing for even more victims in the coming year.

According to advocates, this program’s effectiveness is a result of its unique, flexible approach to housing stability. While many existing housing assistance programs have stringent requirements, income limits, and long lists of unallowable costs, this model prioritizes meeting survivor-defined needs on flexible terms. “Often, the true barrier to a victim’s stable housing is not the rent itself. Sometimes, it’s a functioning vehicle to get to work, childcare while they interview for jobs, or a utility deposit to get the lights turned on,” said Mariah Wineski, executive director of LCADV. “A holistic approach to housing removes whatever the barrier may be, and that is the approach we take with this program.”

The grant was provided by the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, and marks the largest investment of new state funding into domestic violence services in over a decade. Wineski applauded the Commission’s decision, “With this grant, the state of Louisiana has chosen to invest in survivors, and the returns will come quickly. When we prioritize meeting the basic needs of our most vulnerable citizens, our entire state reaps the benefits.”

Louisiana currently ranks 5th in the nation for the rate of women murdered by men, according to an annual report by the Violence Policy Center. Advocates are hopeful that this funding will contribute to a reduction in those homicides. “Domestic violence victims in Louisiana face extraordinary barriers to safety,” Wineski said. “We are thrilled to launch a program that removes some of those barriers.”

Flex Housing Press Release

Louisiana Female Homicide Rate Remains Higher Than Average

Louisiana’s Female Homicide Rate Inches Downward,
Remains Higher Than Average

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2020

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men has decreased slightly over the past year, according to a recent national report. The Washington, D.C. based Violence Policy Center released its annual report on female murder victims, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, this week. The report reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2020 report, which analyzes homicides committed in 2018, ranks Louisiana 5th in the nation. The report also reveals that Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men remains 77% higher than the national average, at 2.26 homicides per 100,000 females.

Louisiana has led the nation in female homicide rates for some time, with the rate increasing steadily for the six years prior to this report. Mariah Wineski, executive director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is hopeful this will be the beginning of a long-term downward trend. “We are encouraged to see this small decrease in our homicide rate, but 5th in the nation is certainly still no place we want to be.”

This is the 23rd year that the Violence Policy Center has published When Men Murder Women. A review of the report reveals that women of color were disproportionately victimized, with black women representing 34 (63%) of the 54 female homicide victims identified in 2018. Sixty-seven percent of the victims in Louisiana were killed with firearms. The report does not count multiple death incidents or incidents where the perpetrator and victim are of the same sex.

The release of the Violence Policy Center report coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which takes place each year in October. This year, advocates have a small glimmer of hope that years of policy changes and efforts to improve coordinated responses to violence will begin to pay off.   “We have worked tirelessly for years to improve our state’s systemic responses to domestic abuse, and we are hopeful that they are beginning to make an impact,” Wineski said. Though advocates are encouraged by this reduction, the statistics remain grim from Louisiana women. “At the end of the day, this is not a numbers game,” Wineski said. “Each of these homicides is a human being whose life was cut short by violence. Until our female homicide rate decreases to zero, we clearly still have work to do.”

See full press release: VPC 2020 Press Release

Notice of Federal Funds Availability

Notice is hereby given of the availability of federal funds through the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) U.S. Department of Justice FY 2020 STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program

If interested in this competitive opportunity, complete a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOI) to submit your proposal. This form is located on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) website at: http://www.lcle.la.gov/programs/funding.asp

For questions and additional information contact:

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Web Site: www.lcadv.org

Contact Info: info[at]lcadv.org

 

The deadline for submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) is: October 9, 2020

Proposals may be considered for approval at the December, 2020 Victim Services Advisory Board (LCLE) meeting.

Louisiana Domestic Violence Disaster Fund

Louisiana is no stranger to natural disaster. Each year, the Gulf Coast faces threats of damaging hurricanes, flooding, and tornadoes. Families living in shelter are among the most vulnerable in a natural disaster. Louisiana’s domestic violence shelters are dedicated to keeping survivors safe. When a disaster hits, they do what is necessary to continue providing lifesaving services to survivors of domestic violence.

LCADV’s Domestic Violence Disaster Fund is a dedicated fund that helps Louisiana’s domestic violence shelters keep survivors safe in the face of a natural disaster.

When disaster strikes, the Disaster Fund helps shelters:

  • evacuate survivors
  • replace lost food and supplies
  • make emergency building repairs
  • cover other necessary disaster-related expenses

You can help domestic violence survivors weather the storm in safety by donating today by clicking here!

 

Recent Homicides Highlight Escalation of Domestic Abuse and Risk for Police Officers

Press Release – DV and Police Killings 4-29-2020

In the wake of the recent tragic shooting of two police officers in East Baton Rouge Parish, advocates are expressing concern and highlighting the connection between domestic violence and murders of police officers.

On Sunday, veteran Baton Rouge Police Department officer Lt. Glenn Hutto Jr. was killed in the line of duty, and another officer was critically injured. The suspect, Ronnie Kato, is accused of also killing his girlfriend’s stepfather in a domestic homicide earlier that day.

According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV), this type of crime is far 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 2015 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, executive director of LCADV, says these killings bring to light two major issues: the dangers faced by domestic abuse victims during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unfortunate connection between domestic violence and murders of police officers. “We are saddened for the families of all victims in this case, and for the entire Baton Rouge community. Domestic violence victims have faced immeasurable challenges in staying safe while navigating this pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home orders. While these orders are necessary for public health, home simply is not a safe place for many people, and unfortunately we have seen violence escalate,” Wineski said.

The Coalition also highlighted the grim statistics linking domestic violence victims and police officers who fall victim to gun violence. An annual report by the Violence Policy Center, When Men Murder Women, ranks Louisiana 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 firearms.

“In domestic violence cases, officer safety is directly tied to victim safety,” Wineski said, emphasizing the importance of early accountability for domestic violence offenders, and access to safety resources for victims. “To promote officer safety, we must prioritize ending domestic violence, both during and after this pandemic.”

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. 

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 $278,424.
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: December 13, 2019.
Proposals will be considered for approval at the March LCLE meeting.
Representatives of agencies under consideration will be required to attend this meeting in order to receive funding.

Amnesty International Report Calls for Improved Responses to Domestic Violence in Louisiana

Amnesty International, a global human rights organization, has issued a research report detailing Louisiana’s systemic responses to domestic violence and calling for improvements.

The report, Fragmented and Unequal, found that “The US and Louisianan authorities have failed to meet their obligations to exercise due diligence to prevent intimate partner violence and to effectively investigate, sanction and provide remedies in cases of violence. Survivors of intimate partner violence in Louisiana face an inconsistent and potentially harmful response from the institutions whose responsibility it is to protect them.”

Download Amnesty International’s full report, Fragmented and Unequal, here:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/1160/2019/en/

Louisiana’s Female Homicide Rate Continues to Climb

Baton Rouge, LA – Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men has increased for the sixth consecutive year, a trend that has domestic violence advocates sounding alarms. The Washington, D.C. based Violence Policy Center released its annual report on female murder victims, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, this week. The report reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2019 report, which analyzes homicides committed in 2017, ranks Louisiana 2nd in the nation. The report also reveals that Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men is more than twice the national average, at 2.64 homicides per 100,000 females.

According to the Coalition, there are a number of factors that contribute to Louisiana’s high rate of female homicide victimization. “Our state’s funding for domestic violence victim services is woefully inadequate, and in many communities criminal justice practices still fail to hold abusers accountable before a homicide occurs,” Wineski said. “Make no mistake, domestic homicide is preventable. We know what works. Louisiana just has to make these changes a priority.”

“Advocates are working tirelessly to prevent domestic violence and help keep survivors safe, but victims in our state have to navigate an exceptionally difficult road to safety,” Wineski said, pointing to economic inequality, housing insecurity, easy firearm access, and a litany of other barriers faced by victims. “A reduction in our female homicide rate will require our state to do something it has yet to do: prioritize women.”

For the full press release click Violence Policy Center 2019 Press Release

2018 LCADV Annual Report

2018 saw amazing progress in Louisiana’s efforts to end domestic violence. From statewide implementation of firearm prohibitions on abusers to the launch of the coalition’s Survivor Stability Fund, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s (LCADV) work has been innovative, groundbreaking, and impactful. Click Annual Report 2018 to read about our 2018 achievements. 

ADVOCATES CONVENE AT CAPITOL TO SUPPORT ANTI-VIOLENCE LEGISLATION

Baton Rouge, LA – May 3, 2019 – Advocates from across Louisiana will gather at the State Capitol at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7th, to encourage legislators to support laws designed to strengthen protections for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

This is the eighth annual Day at the Capitol, hosted 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 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Advocates and supporters will be speaking with legislators throughout the day to discuss domestic and sexual violence in Louisiana and how legislation can affect programs, advocates, and survivors.

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) has been involved in efforts to pass several bills expanding protections for victims of violence across Louisiana. These bills include HB 180 by Rep. Larry Bagley (R-Stonewall), creating the crime of interference with emergency communication, and SB 146 by Sen. Jean Paul Morrell (D-New Orleans), which would make it more difficult to jail victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for refusing to testify against their abusers.

For the full press release click DATC Press Release 2019