October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
FACTS: It does not always show
Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that escalates in severity and danger over time. It can include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse.
In 2011, law enforcement documented domestic and dating violence cases in the fifteen Northeast Louisiana parishes over three (3) times the national average.
Domestic violence is a pervasive crime affecting millions across our nation, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion or education. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. Men are also victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence results in huge financial costs and affects our entire society.
Women are at increased risk of harm shortly after separation from the abuser. A victim’s risk of getting killed greatly increases when in the process or shortly after leaving. On average, four women are killed by a current or former partner every day.
Children are particularly vulnerable as both victims and witnesses to domestic violence. They may withdraw or they may exhibit behavior problems at school and have difficulty concentrating. Children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and run away from home. Men exposed to domestic violence as children are twice as likely to abuse their partners.
Louisiana law permits a law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that domestic abuse has occurred to use all reasonable means to prevent further abuse, including immediate arrest.
If you think someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse:
- Call the police if you see or hear violence in progress.
- Learn about domestic violence services like a victim advocate, The Wellspring (www.wellspringalliance.org) and the Family Justice Center
- If you have a friend or co-worker who is afraid of his or her partner or who is being hurt, offer your support, give them useful phone numbers and refer them to the police or to a victim advocate.
- Model a respectful attitude toward your spouse in your home, with your family and in your workplace. Avoid behaviors that demean or control others.
- Build support among your colleagues and your neighbors that abusive behavior and language is not tolerated in your neighborhood.
Emergency Phone Numbers:
- LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office 992-2151
- Jena Police 992-5111
- 24-hour crisis line 1-888-411-1333
- Wellspring Safe House 318-323-1505
END DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
From Awareness Comes Empowerment to Make Change