Domestic violence is a huge problem in Louisiana. In fact, the state has one of the highest rates of domestic violence fatalities in the entire country.
Louisiana has a number of nonprofits and shelters that are working to address domestic violence and provide safe spaces for victims. Many of these agencies depend on state funding to provide them with the money they need to do their work. However, this state funding may not be around for long – a recent legislative proposal would cut state funding for domestic violence programs by almost 40 percent.
Some shelters have said they would have to close their doors if the proposal becomes law. In turn, they worry that abuse victims will have nowhere to turn after getting away. They fear that victims will have to make the choice between being homeless and going back to their abusers.
Domestic violence agencies are also stressing that their services about much more than just a place to sleep at night. They also provide counseling, transition services and crisis intervention, all of which could be cut.
The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services, though, thinks the state’s funding may be misplaced, especially given how tight the state’s budget is. While safety remains a priority, the DCFS says that the money would likely be better spent on outreach and prevention.
Regardless of whether these cuts go forward, it is important for domestic abuse victims in Louisiana to know there is help available. If you or someone you know is being abused, you can get help by calling the Louisiana Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-888-411-1333.
Source: WWLTV, “Massive proposed cuts could gut domestic violence programs,” Monica Hernandez, April 11, 2013
Our law firm helps domestic abuse victims obtain protective orders and file for divorce in Louisiana. For more information, please visit our website