More women are dying in New Orleans because of domestic violence.
That was the message behind a march to City Hall Thursday organized by The New Orleans Family Justice Center. The “Stepping Up To Step Out Against Domestic Violence” march, aimed to bring awareness to the growing domestic violence cases in the city and to offer support services and resources for victims and families.
“Domestic violence is an intolerable crime,” said Michelle Woodfork, interim superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department at the rally. “Every person should be able to live a life without the threat of violence.”
Woodfork said so far this year, the NOPD has investigated five domestic homicide incidents, compared with 15 domestic homicide incidents in 2022.
Advocates at the march said domestic violence cases in New Orleans have increased by 15% since the pandemic in 2020.
The New Orleans Family Justice Center provides free services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking and child abuse in the Greater New Orleans area. The organization offers emergency sheltering, counseling, legal assistance, along with healing and wellness services.
“We strive to make a difference in the uptick of domestic violence incidents that’s occurring right now against women in our community,” said Trashanda Grayes, executive director for The New Orleans Family Justice Center.
Family members of Johnshane Powell, who was shot and killed earlier this month in the 7th Ward, participated in the march in remembrance of Powell and to speak out against domestic violence.
“It’s important that we stop killing women and the mothers of our children,” said a family friend at the rally.
Members of the New Orleans Police Department and the New Orleans Health Department Council participated in the rally at City Hall. City Council members Helena Moreno and Eugene J. Green spoke about the impact of domestic violence on communities.
“We want to get things done before they get so bad,” Green said. “That’s going to take concentrated, hard working, complex work to get it done, but we can reduce domestic violence in our city.”
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