Louisiana ranks #1 for women murdered by men

By Nick Guillory - email | bio | Twitter

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -Louisiana's rate of women murdered by men is marked number one in the country. This is according to the Violence Policy Center.

They based those numbers from Louisiana's 2007 homicide data. This news hits us at a time when a local shelter for battered women is struggling to stay afloat.

Shelter reps tell KSLA News 12 the down economy causes stress levels to rise. They said it's important for women to get away from situations like this as fast as they can before violence escalates to something else.

In June of this year, police said Jarien Law barged into the Phlawless Barbershop...had an argument with what witnesses said was his girlfriend at the time, Yosilla Tramiel.

One of those witnesses sat down with former KSLA News 12 reporter, Jonathan McCall, a few days later.

"It was like a 2 minute time frame...[he said] so you just goin' leave me like that..she just moved her head and by the time she moved her head back he had pulled the gun out of his pocket," the witness said.

She didn't die, but he later turned the gun on himself.

It's situations like this one that YWCA shelter director Amy O'Pry said can contribute to shocking statistics.

"I can believe it, my sister Kristi O'pry was murdered...I know that first-hand how it affects the family and just how it affects the community," O'Pry said.

With a rate of 2.53 per 100,000 people, the Violence Policy Center said these findings show how fast domestic violence can lead to a homicide.

"So now with people not being able to go to work and take care of the things they're used to taking care of you're going to see domestic violence increase. This is not just in Louisiana, but across the nation," Michelle Wilson said.

The tough economy is also affecting the YWCA, one of the only shelter's in Northwest Louisiana for battered women.

"We try to prevent situations like this from arising each and every day and we need the community to be there to help us, help them," O'Pry said.

The YWCA said the most important step for women involved in these situations is to get away fast and find a shelter so the abuser has a harder time locating you.

Also, if you need help-here's the Northwest domestic violence number that might be a life saver--318-222-2117.

There's also a national number: 1-800-799-SAFE and more state-to-state resources here.

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