Local Leaders, victim advocates bring attention to domestic violence

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Theolonious Gage sat with a heavy heart in Town Square in Baton Rouge Monday on the seventh anniversary of her daughter Yarnell's murder.

"I don't want to see anyone else go through that so I share her story so other people can hear it and say this is enough I'm going to get out of it because I don't want to meet the same fate that Yarnell did," said Gage.

Yarnell's fate included being the victim of a brutal domestic violence crime prompting Gage to join forces with the Iris Domestic Violence Center and local and state leaders to let other victim's know they are not alone.

"Domestic violence itself and domestic violence murder is 100 percent preventable," said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore.

"We want to give you that life where you're not in fear for your safety every waking moment of your day," added Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie.

"By supporting the groups that stop domestic violence we can truly make a difference," said Baton Rouge Metro Councilman John Delgado.

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden was also one of those who added his voice to the cause telling the crowd he too as a child lived in a household where domestic violence was the norm and he urged others to take control.

"If things are going wrong in your house reach out and make a difference. stop trying to mask those things and go out and say I'm going to be a soldier for the truth and not one who's going to hide truth," said Holden.

That advice was echoed by Gage who hopes those in attendance will spread the message to other victims letting them know there is always help available.

"A lot of people don't even know what these shelters could provide so hopefully they'll know now that there's other avenues they can go into instead of just staying there suffering," said Gage.

According to Moore talks are underway in East Baton Rouge Parish to explore creating a specialty court that would be devoted to hearing domestic abuse cases and dealing with those affected by the crimes.

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