BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana ranks fifth in the nation for female homicides. The DOJ says more than half of these are the result of domestic violence.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women, and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
Considering the prevalence of these sorts of crimes, Louisiana leaders are taking steps to address the problem and their response to it.
One such meeting was held Tuesday, October 18 when Attorney General Jeff Landry led the way in gathering a group of first responders for a seminar designed to teach officials how to interact with survivors of domestic violence.
“We’ve tried to educate everyone inside of that process, so that the end result is justice for the victims,” Landry said.
First Responders, investigators, and prosecutors gathered under one roof, to hear from advocates and experts on domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Monica Taylor, Special Project Coordinator, Louisiana Attorney General Office, said, “Those crimes are something that really touches a lot of different parts of not only the criminal justice system, but also of the community as a whole. And so we want everybody to understand how to work together.”
Resources were also provided to those who are on the front lines, helping victims escape their circumstances. S.A.F.E. Louisiana, Community Liaison, Shona Chavis. believes having conversations like these are vital. “We need this,” she said.
Domestic violence doesn’t always have to be physical, it can be emotional as well. So, understanding how emotional abuse can impact a survivor is also a key aspect of training.
Those who attended the seminar were able to learn from hands-on experiences, through the victims’ eyes.
“We don’t see the invisible bars that those victims are bumping into. And those invisible bars are their layers,” Chavis explained.
Landry says this event is only the beginning. Regional training will take place across Louisiana to make sure no victim goes unheard.
The IRIS domestic violence hotline number is 225-389-3001.