BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The music, vendors and crowd gathered at LSU's Memorial Tower Sunday afternoon created a tailgating like atmosphere, but the purpose was one much more somber.
"Looking to raise awareness about Domestic Violence, sexual assault and stalking. We know these are happening in epidemic proportions in our community," LSU Women's Center Director Summer Steib said.
LSU hosted its 29th Take Back the Night vigil, an event to bring attention to the often silent suffering of those living in a situation of domestic abuse. Among speakers talking about local efforts, were those who have suffered first hand, like Elissa Ann Boudreaux.
Boudreaux says she found the courage to find help when she realized her own worth. Now, she works to help other victims.
"If you look around our community is riddled with domestic violence right now. It's now become an epidemic. We need people know that there are resources, that there is help," said Boudreaux.
According to advocates, there have been 57 domestic abuse related homicides in Louisiana over the past year. Six of those were in the Capital area. That's why coordinators say it's so important to connect families with the resources both on LSU's campus and in the community.
"We know that Louisiana consistently ranks in the top five states of women murdered by men with the majority of those being domestic violence homicides. There's a lot work left to be done," said Steib.