NEW ORLEANS - Today, through an amendment authored by Council President Helena Moreno, the City's Health Department received a $250k allocation toward domestic violence initiatives. Until now, the Health Department was limited in its efforts because it was dependent on funding from grants. This new money will allow the City to increase its scope of work and assistance to victims.
"Domestic violence is not just a family problem; it is a community problem and one for all of us to work together to solve," said Council President Moreno. "So often I have said that domestic violence is not treated with the severity or urgency that it deserves, I was disappointed to see the reduction of grant dollars for domestic violence services in both criminal court and the district attorney's office."
Moreno continued, "I am thankful that the City's Health Department is eager to step up and ramp up initiatives to help prevent domestic violence and provide resources for victims, and I'm proud to fund these efforts."
Executive Director of the New Orleans Family Justice Center Mary Claire said, "Our partnership with the City Health Department has been critical in obtaining and analyzing data and incident rates, identifying gaps in services, and brainstorming innovative and critically needed services. We are thrilled that our City Council and Mayor are committed to funding our continued efforts to address domestic and sexual violence in our community. We look forward to working with the Health Department to determine the most effective use of the funds."
According to a recent study, Louisiana ranks second in the nation for domestic violence murders; the numbers show 48 percent of female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner. Domestic violence is a serious issue in our state and in our city. The devastating impacts of what's happening in the home, trickle out to devastating impacts in our community. There is a correlation.
The $250,000 of funding for this programming will be allocated from unrestricted Municipal Court surplus. The majority of misdemeanor domestic violence cases are moving through municipal court on state charges, therefore making it appropriate that the court assists with ramping up the City Health Department's new initiative. Moreno has been a passionate advocate for domestic violence victims since her time in the Louisiana Legislature, where she authored historic and transformative legislation to protect victims.
Chief of Staff
Office of Councilmember-at-Large Helena Moreno