Dozens plans to raise awareness of domestic violence in Ouachita Parish

MONROE, La - Millions of women and men are victims of domestic violence every year. 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Community leaders in Monroe are gathering Thursday, October 5th to give voice to those who have survived abuse at the hands of those they love.

Several domestic violence cases have been brought to the issue of domestic violence to the forefront. Most recently, arrest reports said that at 3:25 a.m. Sunday, 53-year-old Paula Smith and her live-in boyfriend got into an argument.

Police said Smith then allegedly became very mad and armed herself with a steak knife.

Reports said as she approached her boyfriend, he threw a beer bottle at her and then armed himself with a hammer. 

Smith then allegedly stabbed the victim three times in the chest, arm, and back. 

"Domestic abuse battery is classified as a first second or third offense. The first offense goes on a record and the second offense is a felony. The third offense is a felony with an enhanced penalty and so forth and so on," Renee Smith, Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office.
On  October 5th  from 10 - 11 a.m. At the downtown Rivermarket in Monroe.

"This is an event where we celebrate domestic violence awareness and we celebrate what our community has done to save victims of domestic violence," said Valeria Bowman,  Well Spring.
 
The Family Justice Center is sponsoring Hope In the Night of Day, that will feature survivors of domestic violence.
Law enforcement officials say it is important to recognize the signs of abuse.  http://wellspringofnela.org/


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