Domestic violence advocates push for more funds, laws

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Louisiana ranks high in a lot of areas, including domestic violence.

“This is no makeup or anything. This is the real deal. This is real,” said a domestic abuse survivor, who wants to keep her identity private.   

She said she could have been one of those victims who did not survive.  

“He pulled the door open, had gasoline in a can, in a coffee can, and he took it and threw it in my face,” she explained. “Then took a cigarette lighter, and I just went up in flames.”  

Now, more than 85% of her body is burned.   

“I went in the bathroom, watching myself in the mirror with the fire, and my flesh falling in the facebowl,” she continued.  

That is why she is pleading for legislators to pass more laws this upcoming legislative session to protect victims of domestic violence.

“Take heed, think about it, to pass that law, to help women and children of domestic violence,” she said. “So they wouldn’t have to go through what I went through.”

The Pelican State saw 72 domestic abuse-related homicides in 2015.

“Thirty-eight percent of those perpetrators had histories of abuse or violence in their background. Fifty-six percent of the homicides in Louisiana are committed with a gun. So we are very, very supportive of any legislative action that will help improve safety for victims of domestic violence,” said Lynne Medley-Long, the executive director of the Iris Domestic Violence Center in Baton Rouge.  

Medley-Long said funding is also and always an issue.   

“There’s about 400 domestic violence shelter beds, but we need about 700 beds,” Medley-Long explained. “We need to preserve them through this legislative session and the one that’s going to come because we still have financial issues in the next fiscal year.”  

The Iris Center hosted a fundraiser at the Belle of Baton Rouge for its annual Chef Show Off Thursday night.

If you want to learn more about that and how you can help the Iris Center, just head to the link below:

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