BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana residents have been ordered to stay home until April 30th but there is concern for domestic violence victims who are trapped with their abusers during this pandemic.
That’s why East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore is sharing a list of safety resources for victims.
- Identify your partner’s use and level of force so that you can assess the risk of physical danger to you and your children before it occurs.
- Identify safe areas of the house where there are no weapons and there are ways to escape. If arguments occur, try to move to those areas.
- Don’t run to where the children are, as your partner may hurt them as well.
- If violence is unavoidable, make yourself a small target. Dive into a corner and curl up into a ball with your face protected and arms around each side of your head, fingers entwined.
- If possible, have a phone accessible at all times and know what numbers to call for help. Know where the nearest public phone is located. Know the phone number to your local shelter. If your life is in danger, call the police.
- Let trusted friends and neighbors know of your situation and develop a plan and visual signal for when you need help.
- Teach your children how to get help. Instruct them not to get involved in the violence between you and your partner. Plan a code word to signal to them that they should get help or leave the house.
- Tell your children that violence is never right, even when someone they love is being violent. Tell them that neither you, nor they, are at fault or are the cause of the violence, and that when anyone is being violent, it is important to stay safe.
- Practice how to get out safely. Practice with your children.
- Plan for what you will do if your children tells your partner of your plan or if your partner otherwise finds out about your plan.
- Keep weapons like guns and knives locked away and as inaccessible as possible.
- Make a habit of backing the car into the driveway and keeping it fueled. Keep the driver’s door unlocked and others locked - for a quick escape.
- Try not to wear scarves or long jewelry that could be used to strangle you.
- Create several plausible reasons for leaving the house at different times of the day or night.
Moore emphasized that his office, along with local law enforcement agencies like BRPD and EBRSO, will still pursue domestic violence cases during the pandemic.
If victims are in imminent danger they are advised to call 911.
The IRIS Domestic Violence Center is still operating its hotline 24/7. The numbers to call for the Capital Area 24 hour Crisis Line are: (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706.
Due to COVID-19, the staff has secured safe, alternative housing sites for victims who need an immediate emergency shelter.
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