Startling statistics regarding domestic violence cases have lawmakers taking action in the form of legislation. Louisiana ranks top five in the nation for domestic homicides and some years it’s 200 percent higher than the national average. With statistics like that, lawmakers are listening. Five bills are currently waiting for Governor Bobby Jindal’s signature, adding more protection for abuse victims, while holding offenders accountable.
“It gives new options for police to make sure offenders don’t have fire arms. It should get protection orders to police faster and make sure there are mechanisms that allow victims to get relief faster” said Beth Meeks, Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“We’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years educating our legislators on domestic violence problems in the state and how serious it is especially our domestic homicide cases. We’ve talked to them about the gaps in the system. They have been so responsive to closing that gap” said Meeks
One aspect included in these bills would allow victims to receive spousal support in one large sum rather than over a period of time. That would allow the victim to cut ties with the abuser faster rather than over months or even years. Another aspect included in these bills would make domestic abuse one of the grounds for immediate divorce in Louisiana, rather than having a months-long waiting period
If Governor Jindal signs the bills into law, they will be effective August 1st.