Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Louisiana. Today, the Governor's Office on Women's Policy joined advocates and leaders in recognizing the survivors of this serious crime and issuing a statewide call to action to promote the prevention of domestic violence and provide more support to the families of victims and survivors.

“This is one of the most heinous crimes in our society that sadly happens more often than we realize, but it is our responsibility to make it clear that this kind of behavior is not acceptable,” said Gov. Edwards. “Not only does it hurt the adults involved, but children are often victimized and can experience lifelong repercussions from the emotional and physical trauma of being exposed to this type of violence. My administration is committed to working alongside survivors and advocates to implement effective policies that provide support where it’s needed and to hold those who inflict such harm accountable for their actions.”     

Domestic violence affects more than four million Americans each year, and the Violence Policy Center reports that Louisiana has the third highest rate in the nation of women who are murdered by men.

“Abusive behavior is learned behavior that can impact generations, but the cycle can be broken through a coordinated effort by families and communities,” said First Lady Donna Edwards. “This impacts Louisianans of all races, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds. While progress is being made in other states, our state is falling behind and too many people are hurting. By raising awareness, we hope more people will learn to recognize the warning signs, help those who are suffering, and prevent this terrible pattern of behavior from beginning.”

"Domestic violence, also more broadly defined as intimate partner violence, affects both men and women, leaving a comet tail of negative consequences on victims, families, society, and particularly women's mental health,” said Dr. Shanta Proctor, director of the Governor’s Office on Women’s Policy. “As a state, it's important that we create a culture of accountability and no longer accept habits of abuse and physical violence in relationships we're involved in as well as those we witness and observe." 

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) has published an assessment of the current state of domestic violence, the services in place for victims and the areas of remaining needs. According to LCDAV and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS):

  • Over 450,000 women in Louisiana will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, yet 45% of parishes have very limited access to services for victims.
  • Nearly 100 children lose a parent to domestic violence homicide each year in Louisiana.
  • More than 33,000 calls were made to Louisiana’s domestic violence crisis hotlines, in 2016. (DCFS)
  • Over 17,450 people – mostly women and children - received services from domestic violence programs in Louisiana, in 2016. (DCFS)

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, purple ribbons have been tied along the front gate of the Governor’s Mansion and tonight, the mansion will be lit in purple. Also, to help recognize survivors, throughout the month of October we encourage the use of #DomesticViolence and #NoMoreExcuses.

Learn more about prevention programs and access to state resources by visiting the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence at www.lcadv.org.

Click here to view the 2017 LCADV Statewide Needs Assessment: Domestic Violence in Louisiana: www.lcadv.org/statewide-needs-assessment.