A deadly surge is plaguing our State – domestic homicides. Louisiana now ranks fifth nationally in these deaths.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the presence of a firearm in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.
But Louisiana has laws to help keep these weapons out of the
hands of domestic abusers.
Those convicted of a domestic violence felony or who have a domestic violence protective order against them are not able to possess a firearm or purchase a new firearm.
Signed by the Governor on May 20, 2018 – Act 367 requires all firearms of domestic abusers to be turned over to the Sheriff’s Office or a third party with the approval and supervision of the Sheriff’s Office.
Louisiana law defines firearms as any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, submachine gun, black powder weapon, or assault rifle which is designed to fire or is capable of firing fixed cartridge ammunition or from which a shot or projectile is discharged by an explosive.
To find out where the nearest shelter or domestic violence program is near you or your company, please contact the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship through physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional abuse and/or economic coercion. Anyone from any demographic can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. Not all abuse involves physical violence or threats; emotional abuse can also leave deep and lasting scars.
Some signs of an abusive relationship can include:
- controlling behavior
- quick involvement
- unrealistic expectations
- blames others for problems
- blames others for feelings
- dual personality
- past battering
- cruelty to animals or children
- verbal abuse, threats of violence
- use of force during argument
Domestic violence victims have rights!
- The right to refuse to be interviewed by the accused or a representative of the accused.
- The right to review and comment upon the pre-sentence report prior to imposition of sentencing.
- The right to seek restitution.
- The right to reasonably prompt conclusion to the case.
- The right to be present and heard during all critical stages of pre-conviction and post-conviction proceedings.
- The right to be informed upon the release from custody or the escape of the accused or the offender.
- The right to confer with the prosecution prior to final disposition of the case.
- In the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some sort of physical violence by a partner by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors that might not be considered "domestic violence."
- Louisiana is second in the United States in female victims killed by men in single victim/single offender incidents, and Louisiana’s rate of women killed by men has been steadily increasing for the past five years.
- An abuser's access to a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner femicide by 400%.
- 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these murder-suicides are female.
- Women abused by their intimate partners are more vulnerable to contracting HIV or other STI’s due to forced intercourse or prolonged exposure to stress.
- Health effects linked to intimate partner violence include neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.