Love hurts: Louisiana has 4th highest domestic abuse rates in country By Reginique Nickerson

Love hurts: Louisiana has 4th highest domestic abuse rates in country

By Reginique Nickerson

domestic violence


Domestic violence can be defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving emotional, psychological, and physical abuse of a spouse or partner. Louisiana is ranked 4th in the nation for women killed due to domestic violence from partners. This is the 3x higher than the national average. In 2015 alone, Louisiana had more domestic homicides committed by firearms then anywhere in the United States, making up around 56 percent.


According to National Statistics, approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year, an average of 3 women are killed by a current or former intimate partner everyday, approximately 7 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner each year, 79 percent were stalked by their abuser, 67 percent of intimate partner homicide victims weren’t married to their abuser and 38 percent of offenders had prior domestic violence charges or other violent history. These enormous numbers point to the dark side of American culture: killing, raping and abusing women has become the accepted normal. On the flip side men are often abused by partners just as often but do not talk about it.


Psychologists and law enforcement agree there are certain traits in both men and women that are red flags of an abusive personality. Recognizing these traits and terminating the relationship or reaching out for help may save a victim’s life. According to, New Hope for Women, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness of abuse and aiding victims in escaping from abusive situations, here are the top signs to watch out for.


  1. Jealousy: “At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim.”
  2. Controlling Behavior: “In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for the victim (for example, the victim’s safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen, and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely.”
  3. Quick Involvement: “A victim often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure the victim to commit to the relationship. A victim may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship.”
  4. Unrealistic Expectations: “An abuser expects the victim to meet all of the abuser’s needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically.”
  5. Isolation: “An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim’s ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim’s friends and family of being “trouble makers.” The abuser may block the victim’s access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home.”
  6. Blames others for their problems: “An abuser will blame others for all problems or for the abuser’s own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser’s achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything.”
  7. Striking or breaking objects: “This behavior is used as punishment (breaking sentimental possessions) or to terrorize the victim into submission.”
  8. Dual personality “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”: “Explosive behavior and moodiness, which can shift quickly to congeniality, are typical of people who beat their partners.”


Types of Domestic Violence


  • Inflicting or attempting to inflict physical injury

Examples: grabbing, pinching, shoving, slapping, hitting, biting, arm-twisting, kicking, punching, hitting with blunt object, stabbing, choking (attempted strangulation), or shooting

  • Withholding access to resources necessary to maintain health

Examples: medication, medical care, wheelchair, food or fluids, sleep, hygienic assistance, forcing alcohol or other drug use


  • Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact without consent

Examples: marital rape, acquaintance rape, forced sex after physical beating, attacks on the sexual parts of the body, forced prostitution, fondling, sodomy, sex with others

  • Attempting to undermine the victim’s sexuality

Examples: treating him/her in a sexually derogatory manner, criticizing sexual performance and desirability, accusations of infidelity, withholding sex


  • Instilling or attempting to instill fear

Examples: intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, victim, and/or others, threatening to harm and/or kidnap children, menacing, blackmail, harassment, destruction of pets or property, mind games, stalking

  • Isolating or attempting to isolate victim from friends, family, school, and/or work

Examples: withholding access to phone and/or transportation, undermining victim’s personal relationships, harassing others, constant “checking up”, constant accompaniment, use of unfounded accusations, forced imprisonment


  • Undermining or attempting to undermine victim’s sense of worth

Examples: constant criticism, belittling victim’s abilities and competency, name-calling, insults, put-downs, silent treatment, manipulating victim’s feelings and emotions to induce guilt, subverting a partner’s relationship with the children, repeatedly making and breaking promises

Financial / Economic:

  • Making or attempting to make the victim financially dependent

Examples: maintaining total control over financial resources including victim’s earned income or resources received through public assistance or social security, withholding money and/or access to money, forbidding attendance at school, forbidding employment

 Source: New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

For more information or help contact:

Crescent House Healing Center at 504-866-7481

Metropolitan Center For Women & Children at 504-837-5400

LaFASA at 504-225-372-8995

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services at 504-529-1000

Family Justice Center at 504-592-4005

Lines are open 24/7. They provide shelter, training programs, counseling, relocation services, and a response team that will help protect you and your family ASAP!  Information for this article comes from New Orleans Family Justice Center and Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence: LCADV website as well as Melanie Deffendall from Delgado W.I.S.E Women Center.



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