‘This is on us:’ Advocates sound alarm about domestic violence-related homicides at event, 36 pairs of shoes represent 2021 victims
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Butterfly Society held their eighth annual ‘Walk a Mile in Their Shoes’ event Tuesday to raise awareness about domestic violence.
This comes as East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore had previously stated that 2021 was the worst year ever when it comes to domestic and dating violence-related homicides.
“This is on us. Together we can end domestic violence,” said Twahna Harris, with The Butterfly Society.
36 pairs of shoes with names on a piece of paper behind them, were placed on the steps of the stage in Rhorer Plaza.
It represents the 24 men and 12 women who lost their lives to domestic violence-related homicides last year in the parish.
“And we want to make certain that we mention their name, and their names continue to be mentioned throughout the city,” said Harris.
Domestic violence advocates believe what’s happening across our community is a crisis.
“And we want the community to be mindful that at any given moment, it could be any one of us,” said Harris, who is a domestic violence survivor herself.
WAFB recently reported on domestic violence centers seeing more cases of victims being strangled.
“Seeing a higher population of children, 2 to 1 to mothers,” said Patti Freeman with the IRIS Domestic Violence Center.
IRIS is one of the many organizations that spoke out at Tuesday’s event.
They serve an 8-parish area and have one of the only shelters for victims in this area.
“The numbers start increasing as the holidays near for us. Tensions increase in family settings, financial constraints begin putting pressure on the household,” said Freeman.
“For me it was a lack of self-worth. I sat in a seat of irrelevance,” said Tammy Boone, a domestic violence survivor.
Boone was the guest speaker at the event and has some advice for those who may be struggling.
“My advice to them would be, don’t be afraid to get help. Help is out there for you. But if we don’t hear your voice to know that you need help, then we can’t help you,” said Boone.
And with so many resources right here in Baton Rouge, advocates are hopeful more people reach out to them.
“If you know someone that’s going through it, believe them. If you know someone that’s going through it, stand with them. If you know someone that’s going through it, speak for them.
Here are the resources available to victims:
- Iris Domestic Violence Center: 24 Hour Crisis Line is (225) 389-3001
- Capital Area Family Justice Center: (225) 239-7880
- The Butterfly Society: (225) 347-7725
- Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statewide Hotline: 1 (888) 411-1333
- Society of St. Vincent de Paul Sweet Dreams Shelter: (225) 383-7837
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