State lawmakers come face to face with domestic abuse - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

State lawmakers come face to face with domestic abuse

State lawmaker Gene Reynolds watching a KSLA News 12 Special Assignment on Domestic Abuse State lawmaker Gene Reynolds watching a KSLA News 12 Special Assignment on Domestic Abuse
Aishesha Savannah-Osbourne ask lawmakers to implement stricter laws for those who violate protective orders Aishesha Savannah-Osbourne ask lawmakers to implement stricter laws for those who violate protective orders
State lawmaker Roy Burrell watching a KSLA News 12 Special Assignment on Domestic Abuse State lawmaker Roy Burrell watching a KSLA News 12 Special Assignment on Domestic Abuse
Anchor Domonique Benn leads the roundtable discussion with state lawmakers Anchor Domonique Benn leads the roundtable discussion with state lawmakers
Cindy Johnson was killed during a domestic dispute with her estranged husband Cindy Johnson was killed during a domestic dispute with her estranged husband
BATON ROUGE, LA (KSLA) -

Domestic violence is often a never ending cycle and many times it ends in death.  Last November, KSLA News 12's Domonique Benn did a special assignment on protective orders.  In the investigation she looked into five murder-suicides that happened within one year in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

The special assignment caught the attention of our viewers and now it's catching the attention of state legislators too.  Cindy Johnson's family says she desperately tried to escape an abusive relationship.  She he had left her husband and was staying with relatives.  Last October, two families were shattered when police say Cindy's estranged husband Donnie Plater, forced her into a car and drove off, prompting a brief chase with police.  Police believe Cindy was killed sometime during the chase.  Plater was later shot to death by officers.

Aishesha Savannah-Osbourne is also a victim of domestic violence.  She told lawmakers about enduring abuse during her marriage.  She said, "He stabbed me with a screwdriver in my hand and he's actually done everything to me except shoot me."

Aishesha can relate to Cindy Johnson.  She's lived that nightmare, too.  In a KSLA News 12 roundtable, she told state lawmakers she was a victim in an abusive marriage for six years. Even though she had a protective order, she still lived in terror.  She said she had a protective order, but Aishesha says it was not worth the paper it is written on.

Now she wants stiffer penalties for those who violate protective orders.  State lawmakers are listening.

Representative Patrick Williams asked Aishesha, "You are saying restraining orders are a piece of paper and it doesn't mean anything, so more law is still a piece of paper, so what do you think will be the answer for this?"  Aishesha answered by saying there should be a way violators can be monitored.  Aishesha is hoping abusers can be monitored like people on probation or parole.  For example if they come within a certain amount of feet of the victim, a signal is sent back to probation and parole to alert them that the perpetrator is near the victim.

However, the lawmakers at the roundtable all agree finding money to put this into action is hard.  Instead, some of the local state representatives say educating the victim and the abuser is key.

Representative Barbara Norton says she believes we need some type of education process. Making sure victims know what to look for  and where they can find help.

Representative Gene Cox added he  thinks we need to look at the very beginning of this cycle and then implement mandatory counseling of some kind to try and change the path.

Aishesha is hoping that lawmakers will be able to write some type of legislation to help victims like herself.  She ended by telling lawmakers she is forced to take 21 pills a day just to keep her alive.  Her "meds" control her blood pressure and seizures, medical problems she didn't have before being battered.  She says once she was left unconscious and in a coma for two days.  She says 48 hours of her life are lost because someone she loved wanted to take control of her life. 

Providence House has a safe house for victims of domestic abuse.   

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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