BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and advocates in the Capital City are discussing what a problem it is in Louisiana.
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.
In Louisiana, the stats show a deadly trend associated with domestic violence in some instances. The rate of Louisiana women who have been murdered by men has increased for the sixth consecutive year, according to a 2019 Violence Policy Center study.
That study uses data from murders committed in 2017.
“The rate in which men kill women here is twice the national average, and we’re ranked only behind Alaska. And we’ve held that infamous distinction for a number of years now,” said John Price, executive director of the IRIS Domestic Violence Center.
The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence says 50 people died in 48 domestic violence cases in Louisiana in 2018. Thirty-one of those victims were killed by a current spouse or intimate partner.
“All of it comes out of the idea that an abuser is exercising dominion and control over a power and control, and so they exercise that and violence and the threats of violence to basically enslave another person,” said Price.
Price says hundreds of people throughout the seven parishes the organization serves use the offered services each year.
“We have case managers and advocates there who are trained to provide them with support and referrals. We do everything we can to try and get them back together and on their way and into their life, and we also provide legal services for free,” said Price.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, investigators arrested a man for the deadly domestic violence related shooting of a beloved Livingston Parish teacher, Carol Hutchinson.
Price says if you suspect abuse or need help, you can call IRIS confidentially.
“So we do not close. We don’t close at 5 o’ clock, we don’t close on the holidays, we don’t close on the weekends, we don’t ever close, so there is always a trained advocate there that can answer a call,” said Price.
Domestic violence doesn’t always have to be physical, it can be emotional as well.
The IRIS domestic violence hotline number is 225-389-3001.