Local domestic violence event rallies awareness

Brandie Richardson

GONZALES – October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a month in which advocacy groups across the nation sponsor activities to raise awareness and educate people in the community through events such as marathons, luncheons, panel discussions and the local Take Back The Night (TBTN) march.

Hosted by IRIS and APSO, this year’s TBTN event was held in honor of Monica Butler Johnson, a Geismar woman who was killed as a result of domestic violence in August.

It is estimated that one in four women will suffer at the hand of domestic violence at some point in their life, with one person suffering from abuse every 12 seconds in the United States.

According to IRIS, Louisiana ranks second in the nation for domestic abuse homicides, with 57 deaths this year – two of which occurred recently in Ascension Parish.

“We service a seven parish area in Louisiana,” said IRIS Executive Director, Lynne Medley-Long. “All during the month of October, we do a take back the night event, which is a public awareness campaign to rally support around ending domestic violence.

We do a candlelight vigil remembering those who have lost their life to domestic violence. We celebrate those who are survivors to domestic violence, and most importantly we try to connect those who are interested in our movement of ending domestic violence in our homes and in our society.”