Take a stand through domestic violence awareness
Each October, across the nation, people concerned with domestic violence devote the month to raising awareness of the issue. This year is no different, as communities throughout the state take time out to bring light to a particularly troubling problem for Louisiana.
In Jeff Davis Parish, Communities Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) hosted a fundraiser Tuesday night that raised $37,000. That money will benefit the Billie Sue Thomas Well, a safe house for abused women and children. Tonight, Thursday, the group will host a candlelight vigil from 6-7 p.m. at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church in Jennings to remember victims of domestic violence.
Louisiana consistently leads the nation in domestic homicides and has done so since 1997. According to the recently released Violence Policy Center report, “When Men Murder Women”, in 2010 Louisiana ranked fourth in the nation in the rate of women killed by men.
The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) tracks these homicides and says from October 2011 through September 2012, at least 59 people died in domestic violence homicides in Louisiana.
Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence calls the numbers horrifying.
“It’s troubling to think that Louisiana may be the most dangerous place in the nation to simply be a mother or wife,” she said. “We simply must do more to support the local programs working with survivors and strengthen criminal justice response to these crimes.”
In recognition of the problem, Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Louisiana.
According to the proclamation, this month provides an excellent opportunity for citizens to learn more about preventing domestic violence and to show support for the numerous organizations and individuals who provide critical advocacy, services and assistance to victims.
Beth Meeks, Executive Director of LCADV, encouraged individuals to take a stand in their local areas.
“Programs throughout the state are commemorating this month with a wide variety of activities including Take Back the Night marches, candlelight vigils and luncheons,” she said. “I would encourage people all over Louisiana to attend these events to show your support and send a clear message that Louisiana does not tolerate domestic violence.”
You can also take a stand against domestic violence in Jeff Davis Parish by joining CADA as a volunteer or supporting the organization financially.
To learn more about CADA, call 616-8418.
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