Coalition Issues Statement on Domestic Violence Shelter Funding

Coalition Issues Statement on Domestic Violence Shelter Funding

For Immediate Release: May 8, 2023
Media Contact: Mariah Wineski 225-752-1296

As Louisiana’s federally designated network of domestic violence programs, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) joins advocates statewide in urging the Louisiana Legislature to allocate funding for domestic violence shelter services in the state budget.

Louisiana’s domestic violence shelters provide emergency shelter, safety planning, legal advocacy, housing assistance, and much more to victims of domestic violence and their children. These shelters answer over 5,000 crisis calls and provide lifesaving services to more than 14,000 victims of domestic violence each year. Despite these tremendous efforts, the need vastly outpaces the available resources. Louisiana has only 17 domestic violence shelters to serve all 64 parishes. Shelter beds are consistently full, leaving dangerous gaps in safety resources for victims seeking help. Despite this, Louisiana allocates $0 in state general funds to domestic violence shelters.

Advocates are not alone in recognizing that something needs to change. A December 2021 report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found that Louisiana does not adequately fund domestic violence services, and recommended that the Legislature allocate funding for this purpose. This report found that more than 2,600 requests for shelter go unmet each year due to lack of capacity. That is more than 7 times per day that a victim needed a shelter bed and could not get one because the beds were full.

That our state would allow these unmet requests to continue, despite having ample funds available to bolster shelter services, is inconsistent with our state’s values. A failure to fund basic services for victims of domestic violence in a state with a domestic homicide rate nearly twice the national average is not only bad policy; it is an abject moral failure and an abdication of our duty to protect the most vulnerable. 

Domestic violence is an issue that has plagued our state for decades. It has torn apart families, orphaned thousands of Louisiana children, and left victims to rely on a safety net that is dangerously under-resourced. This legislative session, Louisiana has a tremendous opportunity to change our state’s direction, save hundreds of lives, and promote healing and safety for victims of violence.

We call on the Louisiana Legislature to amend the state budget to add an appropriation of $15 million to the Family Violence Prevention Program in the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). We must take this rare opportunity to build an adequate safety infrastructure for victims in immediate danger. This wise investment will save hundreds of lives and provide a pathway to safety, independence, and stability for people escaping abuse.

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) is the 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. For more information, visit

LCADV Statement – Domestic Violence Funding

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