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.”
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
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:
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!
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 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
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, 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:
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.”
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. ClickAnnual Report 2018to read about our 2018 achievements.
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.
A Celebration of Excellence: Standing Together Against Domestic Violence
You are invited to join The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s annual reception, A Celebration of Excellence: Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, a night set aside to recognize and honor domestic violence advocates across the state, as well as state legislators and other officials for all of their hard work and dedication to keeping Louisiana families safe at home.
Awards will be presented to advocates, legislators, and public officials in recognition of their efforts to end domestic violence in Louisiana. Public officials and dignitaries from across the state will be in attendance.
Our keynote speaker will be Marketa Garner Walters, Secretary, Department of Children and Family Services. A national leader in the field of children and family services, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Marketa Garner Walters has dedicated her career to improving the lives of children and families. While serving as CEO of Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana, Walters led a coalition of stakeholders to create a platform for children’s issues during the 2004 governor’s race. Once elected, Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco tapped her to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Services, Louisiana’s child welfare agency.
After serving four years under Governor Blanco and another year under Governor Bobby Jindal, Walters accepted a position on the national stage as Director of the Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center, a technical assistance center focused on best practices in child welfare. She served as a child welfare consultant until Governor John Bel Edwards appointed her DCFS Secretary in January 2016.
Throughout her career, Walters has worked with young women to mentor, coach and support their advancement. She helped young women learn organizational and presentation skills, event management, and provided them with leadership opportunities. She has often been a “safe haven” for women struggling with sexual identity and organizational development issues. As a self-described “loud mouth advocate,” Walters has used her position to bring attention to issues affecting women, children and families to lawmakers, media and the public.
DCFS has had numerous major system reforms under Walters’ leadership, including the Quality Parenting Initiative, Louisiana Fosters, and raising the age of foster care to 21. These combined efforts reflect a sea-change in the role of child welfare in Louisiana. This year will find her working to strengthen the workforce and advance programs that address poverty and allow Louisianans to “live well.”
Please join us for an evening of appreciation and celebration. This event is held in conjunction with LCADV and LaFASA’s Day at the Capitol events.
Monday, May 6, 2019 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m.
The Lyceum Historic Meeting & Events Center
124 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801