Women advocacy groups discuss statewide problem of domestic violence

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POSTED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 5:34pm

Judi Adams with Women Outreaching Women in Livingston Parish deals with domestic abuse cases everyday.

"Domestic violence is all about power and control," said Adams. "The abuser has to have control over the victim."

A new report by the Violence Policy Center shows Louisiana ranks 4th in the nation in women killed by men. Adams says domestic abuse plays a big role in that number.

"There are only three ways out of a domestic violence relationship: either an abusers going to get the help that they need and admit he's got a problem; she's going to leave; or she's going to get killed," said Adams.

Abuse effects around one in three women in Louisiana according to Adams, and the warning signs aren't always obvious.

"It might not be happening to you, but it could be happening to your best friend or your best friends cousin," said Adams. "You don't know that, but it's still going to affect that person in your life."

"Women met men and they fell in love with them," said Summer Steib with LSU Women's Center . "They thought they were in the relationship with the man of their dreams then things very slowly started getting out of control. "

Steib says many women don't seek out the help they need until things get worse.

"Someone who is in an abusive relationship by the time the physical violence has already started there is all of these non physical forms of violence that are already in play. It makes it harder for women to leave," said Steib.

Adams says on average women will try to leave seven times before they permanently remove themselves from an abusive relationship.

"No body was put on to this earth to be anybody's punching bag or abused by anybody," said Adams.

Adams says the key to curbing domestic violence is early education. She says more time needs to be spent teaching our kids about preventing bullying and other forms of violence, because often those can lead to abusive tendencies later in life.

Steib says Louisiana has strong anti domestic violence laws, but there is still a huge problem in the state.

LSU Women's Center teamed up with several state and local agencies to host the 26th Annual Take Back the Night Candlelight March. The event takes place on Sunday October 14th starting 6pm at the LSU Memorial Tower. The goal of the event is to raise awareness about domestic abuse, and to remember those women who lost their lives from domestic violence.

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