A recent study puts Louisiana in the top 5 of a deadly list. According to a Violence Policy Center study, in 2013 Louisiana ranked 4th in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men. This makes it the fifth year in a row for the bayou state to be in that top tier ranking.
It was a statistic that put fear in an 18-year-old domestic abuse victim who is currently on the run from her violent ex-boyfriend. She was too afraid to show her face or use her real name since she is still attempting to escape from the man who has been abusing her for the past 3 years of their relationship.
"He was controlling, he did all kinds of stuff towards me and my kids," the victim said. "He came in and pulled guns out, he jumped on me a couple of times."
Even with physical violence and lethal threats, she still considered to return to her dangerous situation. For her, this kind of violence is all too familiar since her mother was abused herself.
"She went through a lot, I think in every relationship actually," said the victim.
This domestic violence victim is now in the care of Project Celebration, an organization that helps families make the transition out of violent situations and into a life of normalcy and safety.
Petrina Jenkins said this victim's case is similar to so many that she's handled and if not handled property, it can be deadly.
"Over 85 percent of women who are killed, are killed trying to leave," explained Jenkins.
Jenkins said a desperate hope for a change leads women to stay in dangerous situations and can often lead to a deadly outcome. The numbers show just that, the new VPC study called "When Men Murder Women" puts Louisiana in the top 5 ranking of states where women are killed by men. With 47 domestic violence murders happening in Louisiana during 2013.
The Providence House no longer handles domestic violence cases but Simone Hennessee, who has been with the organization for 24 years, said poverty along with easy access to guns in Louisiana play a large part in the deadly trend.
"Being unemployed, I think those factors make a difference in people's behavior," said Hennessee. "We are going to be what we know. If you grew up in an environment where violence is normal."
Now we can only hope the way the world operates for this young victim changes and the pattern of violence stops with her, but first she has to make a safe escape.