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

Join us for a night of celebration & appreciation

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

[su_button url=”https://lcadv.org/a-celebration-of-excellence-standing-together-against-domestic-violence-tickets/” background=”#6a306f” size=”12″]Purchase Tickets [/su_button]

Federal Government Shutdown & Violence Against Women Act: What Does it Mean for Domestic Violence Programs in Louisiana?

Did the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expire with the government shutdown? What does that mean for the protections and programs in the law?

Yes, it did expire. VAWA was not reauthorized prior to the shutdown, and many VAWA-funded programs are included in the shutdown. However, reauthorization and appropriations (funding) are two separate things. When a spending bill is eventually passed, appropriations to VAWA will likely be included, with or without reauthorization. In addition, the existing protections enshrined in VAWA continue to exist despite its expiration.

When it comes to VAWA reauthorization, it is more important to do it right than to do it quickly. We urge Congress to pass a Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that provides critical enhancements and improvements to the law.

The government shutdown, not the lack of VAWA reauthorization, is the most significant and urgent threat to domestic violence services.

Read our full statement here: Shutdown VAWA FAQ

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 $282,270.
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 21, 2018.
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.

Rate of Women Murdered in Louisiana Increases for 5th Consecutive Year

Baton Rouge, LA – The Washington, D.C. based Violence Policy Center has issued its annual report on female murder victims, and it shows a troubling trend in Louisiana. The report, When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of Homicide Data, reviews female victims killed by male offenders in single victim/single offender incidents and ranks all states from highest rates to lowest. The 2018 report, which analyzed homicides committed in 2016, was released this week.
Louisiana ranks 2nd in the nation, up from 3rd the year before. The report also reveals that Louisiana’s rate of women murdered by men has increased steadily for the past five consecutive years, with the most recent rate being 2.42 homicides per 100,000 females.
Of the women killed by men in Louisiana in 2016, 69% were killed with firearms. Advocates are hopeful that recently enacted legislation requiring the transfer of firearms from convicted abusers and those with qualifying protection orders will have an impact on these numbers. Senate Bill 231 of the 2018 regular legislative session requires sheriffs to oversee a process of transferring firearms from those legally unable to possess them.

For the full press release click VPC 2018 Press Release