Local officials offer tips for leaving a domestic abuse situation safely

Local officials offer tips for leaving a domestic abuse situation safely

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - In 2017, a woman named Lauren Guidry died after being run over by her boyfriend, Victor Ramos.

Ramos was recently convicted of manslaughter. Guidry was trying to leave Ramos and her death calls to mind the issue of how to get away from a dangerous partner. For Lauren Guidry, trying to escape from a violent partner proved deadly.

He ran over her causing severe injuries and she died within two days. Friends and family are heartbroken.

Rachel Touchet, Guidry’s Godmother, recalls the injuries she sustained.

"All she kept telling me is, ‘Nanny, I can’t feel anything from the waist down.’ " Touchet said. "And all I kept saying was, ‘Hold on baby girl, don’t let go. Hold on baby girl, don’t let go.’ ”

Kathy Williams, director of the local women’s shelter, knew Lauren.

“Lauren was a beautiful person," Williams said. “She had a huge heart. She cared about people. Lauren didn’t deserve to die. She didn’t deserve to die.”

Prosecutor Jason Brown said it’s not unusual for a violent abuser to try to stop a woman from leaving.

“One of those classic cases where a defendant is not going to allow somebody that he says he cares about or loves to leave,” Brown said. "And so, instead of allowing her to leave, he ran her over with his car,” Brown said.

Williams says it’s best to avoid leaving in the middle of a volatile episode. “Make arrangements, know what you’re doing very cautiously because it is so dangerous because you’re taking that control that that person has over you, you’re taking it away from them.”

She says women in potentially deadly situations should make a plan to make a safe escape.

“Maybe have an extra set of keys somewhere, know his hours when he’s going to be gone, so that you can leave when he’s not right there," Williams said. “Have some - like your social security card or bank papers or birth certificate - different things like that. Maybe put that at a different place.”

And that plan should include people who know and can help.

“You have to take control of your own life and understand that you don’t deserve that abuse and that you don’t have to take that abuse,” Williams said. “It doesn’t mean that you don’t love that person anymore. But sometimes you have to let go of somebody that you love for your own safety.”

Domestic violence calls are also among the most dangerous and deadliest for police. Ramos is to be sentenced Dec. 9, 2019.

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