In the last month, at least three people have died, and the fourth is recovering from severe injuries as the result of domestic violence. In one of those cases, the victim was a man.
There are programs in Acadiana to keep victims safe and rehabilitate abusers. Those programs are for men and women alike.
Billi Lacombe is the Director of Faith House. She believes it is important to have a safe place for victims.
"Domestic violence is a choice that they make, so it is not uncontrolled anger or a problem with anger management. It’s very controlled anger because they are taking it out on a specific person to keep control of them," Lacombe said.
Lacombe also said there are ways to escape abuse and a number of options for those people who need help.
"When victims are experiencing abuse, they often feel like they are alone or they’re isolated, and they don’t have people they can talk to. So, it’s very important for them to be aware of services like Faith House, so they know there are resources that may help them to get out or establish safety," Lacombe said.
Lafayette also has an intervention program that helps abusers control their behavior and learn negotiation skills with their partner. Ralph Peters is the Executive Director for the Family Violence Intervention Program.
"The Batterers’ Intervention program is 26 weeks long. Current Louisiana law dictates a 26-session program over 26 weeks. These men [and women] have to pay for the classes that they go, and that’s our primary method of support." Peters said.
The program hosts classes for both men and women with court orders or those who feel the need to walk in.
"The national recidivism rate for domestic violence without some form of intervention is about 60 percent, and the national domestic violence recidivism rate, even with a batterers’ intervention program, is 30 percent, so I like to think our six percent is pretty darn good," Peters said.
If you or anyone you know is in need of help, you can contact Faith House at 1-888-411-1333.