SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An outreach program for domestic violence victims in Shreveport is going virtual in October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Project Celebration Community Outreach and Education Manager Petrina Jenkins, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and 1 in every 3 women will be a victim of domestic violence.
During the pandemic, many victims are living with their abusers. Every year, Project Celebration brings people together to recognize domestic violence and due to COVID-19, their services will be done virtually.
“We do a series of events, awareness projects, we try to get with media outlets to get the word out about domestic violence because sometimes it’s that thing nobody talks about,” said Jenkins.
Domestic violence often leads to death, and the state of Louisiana has been ranking in the top ten in the country for domestic violence homicides.
“For the past six years, Louisiana has been in the top three. So this year however Louisiana is number five. So it looks like we are getting out of that number but we are still in the top five.”
Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the numbers of domestic violence have raised because of victims being isolated with their abusers.
“So you take that isolation and combine it with the isolation that we’ve been experiencing through COVID, that just added another layer to the already existing volatile situation.”
Because of the phasing of re-opening the state, more victims are leaving and going to safehouses.
“I think that as we are phasing out of the pandemic, I think that is somehow giving more security to families to get help. Because they’re not so much entangled into having to be isolated.”
If help is needed, the Project Celebration office is still providing resources for victims. They are also hosting a discussion on social media about domestic violence. The discussion will take place on FaceBook Thursday, October 15. The topic is gender-based violence and women of color.
- The Project Celebration domestic violence hotline is 318-226-5015
- Louisiana Statewide Hotline: 1-888-411-1333
- National Hotline: 1-800-799-7233