Louisiana Ranks in the Top 5 of a Deadly List
A Violence Policy Center study in 2013 ranked Louisiana 4th in the United States in the number of women murdered by men. It is the fifth year in a row for our state to be in that top ranking.
This statistic put fear in an 18-yar-old domestic abuse victim, currently on the run from her violent ex-boyfriend. The victim is too afraid to show her face or to use her real name since she is still trying to escape from her abuser of three years. “He was controlling. He did many violent things to me and our children,” says the victim. “He came in to my home and pulled out a gun and he beat me many times.”
She still considered returning to this dangerous situation, even with the physical violence and lethal threats. This kind of violence is all too familiar to her, coming from a home where her mother was abused. “She went through a lot, I believe in every relationship, actually, “the victim says of her mother.
She is now in the care of an organization in north Louisiana that helps families make the transition out of violent situations and into a life of normalcy and safety.
A counselor at the facility says if not handled properly, the case may turn deadly. “Over 85 percent of women who are killed are killed trying to leave a violent relationship,” she says. “Women desperately hope for a change in the abuser, leading them to remain in the relationship, often leading to a deadly outcome.”
A 24-year employee of the organization says that poverty along with access to guns play a large part in the deadly trend. “Unemployment along with other factors can contribute to our behavior. We are what we know. If you were raised in an environment where violence was normal, that is what you know.”
Hopefully, with education, counseling, and the tools to be successful and independent, the pattern of violence will stop with the victim, but first she must escape safely. Hopefully, the children will not grow up to repeat the cycle of violence.
According to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- From 2010-2014, using multiple sources, 261 incidents, resulting in 281 domestic violence fatalities were identified.
- 63% of the domestic violence homicides were committed with guns. 38% had prior domestic violence charges or other violent history.
- 76% of intimate partner femicide victims have been stalked by their intimate partner.
- 89% of femicide victims who had been physically assaulted had also been stalked in the twelve (12) months prior to their murder.
What you can do:
DO NOT try to intervene if you see or hear violence in progress. Call a law enforcement. Offer your support and refer the victim to domestic violence resources, like the Wellspring Alliance (318-323-1543) or the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office victim advocate (318-992-2067). Model respect toward your spouse in your home, with your family, and at work. Build up support in your community that abusive behavior and language is not tolerated.