BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In an annual report on domestic and dating violence in East Baton Rouge Parish from the district attorney’s office, it showed that deaths nearly doubled in 2021.

“It is my mission to assist our community in holding abusers accountable and providing avenues for victims to find safety and restoration from violence,” said EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore.

The report said challenges came from strained resources within law enforcement, courts, providers, and DA office staff as well as difficulty keeping accurate data on incidents and arrests.

The district attorney’s office said its office and “Stop the Loss” teams established procedures to track domestic and dating arrests, track outreach to victims, referrals for alleged abusers and data on accused re-offenders.

Stop the Loss is an initiative created by the district attorney’s office and local law enforcement aimed at identifying abuse, holding offenders accountable and offering services. Through this initiative, the district attorney’s office hopes to prevent domestic violence deaths through methods of identification and intervention.

Domestic violence-related deaths in 2021

The EBR district attorney’s office reported 36 domestic violence-related deaths in 2021, 23 of which were intimate partners. Out of those deaths, the report said 12 victims were women and 24 were men. The report states 31 of the victims were Black, three were white and two were Hispanic.

Data collected by the district attorney’s office reports the most commonly used weapon in domestic violence incidents was firearms.

The total of deaths in 2021 was the result of 30 incidents of domestic and dating violence, according to the district attorney’s office.

For context, the report showed previous years’ death records — 19 domestic violence deaths in 2020 and four in 2019.

Tracking domestic violence data in EBR

Baton Rouge City Police, East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) each independently track data on domestic and dating violence within the parish.

According to the district attorney’s report, city police track arrests, the clerk of court track protective orders issued, and the sheriff’s office tracks its own data on domestic violence-related arrests.

The report said Baton Rouge police made 2,154 arrested consisting of the following charges:

  • Battery of a dating partner
  • Aggravated assault of a dating partner
  • Domestic abuse battery
  • Domestic abuse aggravated assault
  • Violation of protective order

In 2021, the 19th Judicial District Court issued 1,200 orders — the report cites this as a significant increase from past years’ average of 300. The district attorney’s office believes Stop the Loss contributed to this increase as well as an increase in court-ordered “Firearms Information and Firearms Declaration of Non-Possession.”

EBRSO’s arrest data showed a slight increase over a three-year period, with a total of 1,511 arrests in 2021, according to the report.

Services for domestic-violence victims in EBR

The district attorney’s office says victims can find services at the Capital Area Family Justice Center (CAJFC) which serves EBR, West Baton Rouge, Ascension, East Feliciana Iberville, Pointe Coupee, and Livingston parishes.

Other resources where victims can find help:

“As a community, we must act, offer genuine services and support, and listen,” said Moore. “Domestic and dating violence-related deaths are preventable, but it takes a community response that does not accept coercive and abusive control to demand that what was once only a ‘family matter,’ no longer be tolerated by society,” reads the report.