New program coming to Louisiana to help domestic violence victims


The Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center is starting up a new program.

The new Polycom equipment will allow victims of domestic violence to obtain a temporary restraining order via video conference.

The program’s purpose is to provide a safe and secure link between the victim and the court. In addition, the victim would be able to talk with courtroom personnel in a secure location without having to appear at a courthouse.

The Northwest Louisiana Family Justice Center did research and found a justice center in Maryland who used the same program. The justice center in Maryland was very successful. We talked with one mother and she believes the technology will help future victims of domestic violence. “It was very intimidating to have to look at him and testify in front of him,” said Sheryl Shepard. We wanted to give it a try in our community and be the first one to start it in Louisiana,” said Jeri Bowen.

The installation and training of the Polycom system cost about $38,000. The NW Louisiana Family Justice Center is applying for federal funding through the Violence Against Women Act. Everything should be fully operational by Fall 2019. 

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