TASA, LSU students hold vigil in honor of domestic violence victims

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Tigers Against Sexual Assault, LSU students, and administrators held a vigil Tuesday, Oct. 26, to honor victims of domestic violence.

East Baton Rouge Parish is in the midst of its deadliest year on record, according to District Attorney Hillar Moore. During that time, the Capitol Area also set a record for the most domestic violence-related deaths.

“We crossed over 30 deaths in 2021, which beats the 2020 year where we only had 20, which was the all-time high,” organizers from the Iris Domestic Violence Center said.

At the vigil, organizers listed the names of almost 30 victims that died between August 2020 and August 2021.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s going to go away on its own, because it’s not, and that’s a fatal mistake that people make,” they said.

One of the most recent victims was Southern University student Shayla James. According to police, James was shot and killed by her boyfriend after an apparent argument.

James’ memory was also honored alongside Kinnedy Smith. Investigators say, Smith, an LSU graduate, also died at the hands of her boyfriend in June 2020.” This is a harsh reality that this can hit so close to home,” said Isabella Rovere, Director of ‘We’re Committed for Student Government’.

Student-led organizations, like TASA, hope bringing awareness will lead to a change in the city and on campus.

”We make students have the responsibility of educating the campus community instead of it being the adults. This allows us to spread the message of resources available and help us achieve our mission in making this campus safer for all students,” said Angel Upshaw, co-founder of TASA.

They believe it will have to take a group effort in order to make a positive move forward.”When you hear the list of people that were read today and you realize the enormity of the problem, we have a lot of work to do.”

Here’s a list of domestic violence-related resources:

Butterfly Society - (225) 347-7725

Iris Domestic Violence Shelter - (225) 389-3001

Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence - 1 (888) 411-1333

Family Safe Haven - (225) 239-7880

Family Services of Greater Baton Rouge - (225) 924-0123

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