On Thursday, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) announced that Northeast Louisiana has achieved what appears to be a significant and longstanding reduction in domestic homicides.
LCADV tracks domestic homicide data for the state of Louisiana and conducts regular analysis of trends in the state. They release information yearly in October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. They say their review of recent data shows that Northeast Louisiana has seen a drop of roughly 70% in domestic homicides since 2011 and that drop has remained consistent for four years now.
LCADV Executive Director Beth Meeks calls this a significant breakthrough. “We are seeing data here that is not temporary or accidental. This represents the first time in almost 20 years of tracking that we can identify progress in Louisiana on reducing domestic homicides. It is an understatement to call it impressive.”
LCADV has tracked domestic homicide data since 1997. The Northeast Louisiana (NELA) region is defined as the 12 parishes including: Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, East and West Carroll, Franklin, La Salle, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland and Tensas.
In the years 1997-2011 NELA averaged slightly more than six domestic violence homicides per year. After 2011, the average fell to two deaths per year, a roughly 70% drop. The currently estimated national rate of femicide, as determined by the Violence Policy Center in its yearly report is 1.09 per 100,000. The most recent rate for Louisiana is 1.99 per 100,000. The current NELA rate is .63 per 100,000, about 40% lower than the national average and more than 60% lower than the Louisiana rate.