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Open Mind 1:10pm, In House Guest

May 8, 2014|

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Abuse (LCADV) reported' from 2010-2012 there were 178 deaths due to domestic violence. 74% of these were committed with firearms and 37% of offenders had prior history of domestic violence or other violent crimes.' Yesterday Louisiana senate took a monumental stand for women and children by unanimously voting on three bills aimed at stopping domestic abuse. Are you or someone you know a survivor of domestic abuse? Angela's guest this hour are: Kim Sport:Public Policy Committee Chair for the United Way of Southeast Louisiana Michael Williamson:President & CEO,United Way of Southeast Louisiana Mary Claire Landry:Executive Director of New Orleans Family Justice Center. Monique Natividad:Survivor

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well welcome to a beautiful Thursday and I think you're gonna enjoy these three programs this one in particular because. Near and dear to many people's hearts and a very long fought battle for what's right we're talking about domestic abuse. Not in our second hour we're gonna lighten up a little bit and were gonna talk to MacKey shall stone about how our road next. Can now build your muscles citizen just lifting those away to really wanna hear him. And then at 3 o'clock not to -- -- it's going to being as you know its draft day you have a lot to teach me on that. But the wonderful Todd Manassas of our staff is gonna join me. And we're gonna have a draft party for food -- and so on depending on you to call and tell me what you think the -- should be doing in the draft picks. But we begin with it was a major victory for all women who have ever been afraid of their spouse or boyfriend. Afraid of being killed by them. In just two years between 2010 and 2012. There were 178. Deaths due to domestic violence in our state and that's 40% higher than the rest of the nation. The three bills passed yesterday in Baton Rouge we'll hopefully make a difference in those numbers. And more clearly some message to those who would kill the people they want said they loved. The domestic violence is both an outrage. And completely unacceptable. We're going to spend the next hour with. One of those who fought the good fight in Baton Rouge actually many of those who fought the good fight -- rouge. Kim sport a super volunteer and member of the united way of southeast Louisiana board of trustees. And chair of the united wings public policy committee. Michael Williamson president and CEO of the united way of southeast Louisiana. Very clear Landry executive director of the family justice center. An organization dedicated to ending family violence child abuse sexual abuse and stocking. And we have a survivor of domestic abuse who has slid the reality of the fear all too many have experienced. Monique. Not TV doesn't and I thank you all for being here and this was a victory could almost hear the roar of the crowd. Yesterday from Baton Rouge because I know how long you have fought for this can sport I'm gonna start with you kind of take is fair for those of us who were not. OK we had to. Three criminal bills which went to the full senate floor for final passage. And these three bills had passed unanimously in the house committee. On the house floor and in the senate committee. Seoul. Final passage means after this it goes to the governor's desk for signature. The first bill makes domestic abuse battery. -- domestic abuse aggravated battery. I have a crime of violence which means that. You have to serve part of your sentence you get less time for good time when you're serving your sentence in jail. And it's much more serious crime the second conviction. Just domestic -- battery is now a felony conviction. That that that's very very very day there is no released on recognizance anymore for violation of a protective order. Or for an arrest for domestic abuse battery. Another bill helps. Expedite that transmittal. Of protective orders from a judge's desk into the hands of local law enforcement agencies and into the Louisiana protective order registry. So that if a victim calls -- 911. -- local law enforcement officer can immediately check that registry C. If there is a protective order what are the terms of that protective order etc. but that bill that has us most excited. Is the one. That says that if few are under a protective order. You can not possess a firearm at any type for the duration of that protective order. And another. Incredible bill. If you are convicted of domestic abuse battery and even if it is a misdemeanor conviction. Of domestic abuse battery. You can not. Possess a fire -- And any type for ten years following your conviction. And I think that's one people were going oh my gosh that's it that's it we know in Louisiana now we passed one of the most and strength it applies. Regarding the fundamental right to own. A firearm in this state and -- that any laws that would restrict those rights would have to pass strict scrutiny. Under a constitutional. Examination. And I am thrilled to say. That being members of the legislature both in the house and the senate. Even that gentlemen as senator. Neal writes are who authored that constitutional. Amendment voted in favor of this bill. And sent that it was never his intention. To keep. Guns in the hands of persons who are not responsible enough to possess them. Why do you think I'm asking very -- I'm asking everybody in the room why do you think this work this time. We get our home mark. We -- This this was started by a individuals at the united way of southeast Louisiana. We reached out to Mary Claire and her entire group -- wants family justice center. We reached out to techniques. With the Louisiana coalition against domestic violence. We've reached out to the sheriff's association. We reached out to the district attorney's. We've reached out to family court judges and and today ATF. And then finally we reached out to an IRA. And and spoke with them at length about. How important these bills war. And you know if they would stay stay in neutral on this issue and help us protect. On spouses. Family members mothers children. Who might be killed by a firearm because of domestic violence. Was that any that conversation with the NRA. Was it tough. Where they first resistant. Yes because they have it jocks do they have jobs too which is to try to keep. As many. That was that they are here to protect the the fundamental right to own. A firearm that's Second Amendment and says they have lobbyist just like other people have lobbyist but I found that. They were. Extremely. Logical. And understanding. And even went so far as to remind every member of the state legislature that they were remaining neutral before they cast their votes. I'm looking at Michael will. Anderson and I'm just. Curious New York that specific interest to the united way. What's her and I think I think it's important to reflect on the fact that. You don't get your response legislation passed -- you have folks -- on to -- An advocate for and so Cameron. And Mary Claire and charming cast of folks that many people travel manners mean that the that was key. But for us you know we've we've realized that money alone is not the solution. And you know the -- we face in our communities our state and that. Pairing the resources we rates. With really responsible legislation and policy. Can allow us Crea real long term sustainable change -- which in this case. Actually ends up protecting families and saving lives and so our interest is to really bring. -- and it weighs influence into the picture so we can begin to shape policy and -- -- that complements the way we invest our resources. Well we're gonna take a break we're going to come back and we're gonna talk about virtual we're gonna meet a remarkable young woman who has lived what we're talking about. We're gonna hear her story and then we're gonna ask the questions what is it about Louisiana that historically we've had such high numbers. Stay with this I'm Angela under the anyway we're talking about the major victories yesterday as the Louisiana State Legislature passed three very important bills when it comes to domestic violence and as we've said repeatedly distinct. Has a very bad reputation for our numbers are 40% higher than the rest of the United States we're talking about. Those who those women with died. We are now joined by. Monique not Stephen -- not TV -- Who. Was the victim of domestic violence -- -- if you don't mind if you would kind of take -- back there. Okay well my story actually stress that my mother's story. Unfortunately my earliest memories I have been pushed down. A flight of stairs watching her get pushed through a debt -- -- nine months pregnant. -- Obama about his father. I didn't know until more recently what her story was and. I didn't know until more recently what her story was but apparently she met him. While she was pregnant with me he was ex military issued in final later -- that he had been in the military prison that -- military. He's a deadbolt lock us in the house and she told me about how wind. She even try to go to church he would be there when she got back. And if the food wasn't hot even if he came home hours later than anticipated. It would be an issue. And there was no help for her he had are isolated in a different city in all of those kind of things you know that -- senior will of control power and control. Nancy tell me about how she had to escape and how a friend and helped her to convince him the -- go to the park. -- -- just for a few minutes so that we could play and that's how she was able to get away and get to the bus station and -- when nothing and still. Years later I didn't even know the similarity I am. You know I've gone to school you know went to Xavier pack two degrees waited till after I got the degrees they get married that was built in this great life. And a man I'm Mary wasn't the man I end -- haven't have -- frown. Over the years he began to change and haven't been ex gang members look like he was starting to pick up some new and re. I guess go back to some interest in -- and he just became a different person in the pars and I say yes to. And so. As things began to deteriorate I began to be afraid of the person that I was -- -- -- -- so protective back and soul even down to. When it came time for me to realize I need to do something. I began to be afraid to go to sleep next to him what would he do to me in my. Legal I have to do to him when I woke up or. You know things like that and I got tired. Of the aisle to cases he would create what you try to intimidate me and yelling screaming at me like two into my face to try to get -- it him. And because he always on never hit a woman but if he hits me and see how much call the police of an act of optimistic -- within -- things I'm thankful that I had. And that self control you know not to do that because he really was -- important -- from emotional. Too physical when I want to Wal-Mart every thirty minutes of fighting call we had issue when -- called you know just unreasonable things. We were married almost ten years not once was never -- to even have lunch with my trains. You know it was always in the house where you if you didn't even -- have more than one vehicle at one time because the end you know he wouldn't know Al's going to be Lackey was network. Sell. When things deteriorated there were times and I was accused of a garbage man literally the pulse man my cousin you know it just got ridiculous. And when he was create out to cases -- storm out of the house I got tired of hearing my baby girls say. Miami you okay or -- in the kitchen cranks island means is it lying eyes -- Miami you okay. And I began to realize that I had to do something so that I wouldn't inadvertently -- -- to my girls they didn't need to think they need to be treated like that my sons didn't need to seat as an example. How to treat someone and I remembered vaguely at my mom half. I didn't know all the details didn't know how she did it. But I remember that she had enough strength somehow -- -- So even though after we left I do remember being homeless sleeping in a car being homeless sleep in an -- to -- -- Moving into the projects as a step up if you will -- nothing. Is still as a step is still is a legacy and I had to try mentally so when I left that day after he got in my face again it was just so threatening that I didn't even. Feel comfortable use and arrest of four hour and a half while blacktop that was watching PBS because I didn't know this is going to be the day. That you actually follow through on hours -- -- I think it's seen an -- we'll stop the F body outlets felt that app that you and I knew he meant it. That was a -- at once he finally fell asleep I felt like I had to flee and how shaken and sledding. Trying to roll what was in the -- into garbage bag to put it in a vehicle cadets are likely get out of the house and then my baby boy it was a year and a half. My second girl. Force is preschooler until Mexico Montana was gonna go to sort of bring you cover with ten never used Atlantic team. Then I went to the school and I told them well the kids have a dentist appointment. And we just need to leave right away and because I had been so active in the PT anyone that -- -- notices -- -- what's the matter. And I wrote Iraq handwritten on acid is a concern for -- safety will leave it right away. But I didn't have time to explain so put the last sixty dollars at hand and the bank in a gas tank. And my family has so I mean that mining begins at -- -- in my house from Houston to Iowa. It's at me two days and I had nightmares for months because I almost fell asleep on the rolls so many times is trying to get home. Still you know my story is and I still am not ashamed of it and I'm so thankful. You know because even in the midst of that there been times it made me laugh and Amy smiled and -- Just have to be strong because I knew I was revealed in an even all the way out of Houston where dragon in drag and kissing mommy. Just last that will be eaten meat and then he's getting them coming to dinner at some point back. -- And good at the F. I think this is constantly and once. I explain it. You know. As rebuilding -- began its old black and -- -- -- at eight you know immediate divorce -- helped me -- He caught a bank and get out desolate they would -- vehicle. Again in. Try to be hiding in that vehicle and stay. At it it's it's. To register in I was in its beeped at me. It you know in state -- excellent the lack really even do mines. Legally protect the bullet and capacity and I mean it is about the act. And act that the justice and integrated. -- act at any time day when that Witten. Out what happened. No he -- this state into an impeachment but I -- need help me. Even legally repeatedly -- me in it -- tell where the way we think it at that. Point blank. So I'll appreciate what apple and Morgan talk about them injustice and I just wanted to know did your husband tried to find and yes he went in Iowa. It -- protect the he immediately out. And ask for temporary quarters and there. Also restraining quarter. Currently at eight and so even. Tell us heel. And -- But yes he did he. Didn't speak to. And. His family was aware of what was going on of his tendencies they did yes yes and now would later find out that on his all and helped as far as -- -- You survived you were Smart as a whip just but I can't imagine the struggles you went through. But you are living example that you can survive that how wonderful of you to recognize what this means. For people who might be facing what you do it right -- and you know already been in conversation with my mother. -- in Seymour and now how would have benefited her to be -- what -- one place to go to begin a protective order in place. I think counseling she still -- -- -- just trying to tell me what happened in thirty step. You know when she tells me how he stopped her from state to state showed up and try to burned out as all mothers house because we were inside -- see it taken this in. That makes me appreciate it ages the. We are talking about domestic violence and I want everyone to stay with this because the estimate there -- many positive -- your story takes my breath away. But there are many positives -- we're gonna continue talking about that but now let's go to the newsroom well we've just heard the incredible story of Monique. Not TV died. And and really your survival and the survival of your children because clearly could've gone another way. You just had some tremendous instincts. On how to react and not react and then that wisdom. Tragically through your mother's experience to get out. But. Thank you thank you very very much for telling that story. Very clear Landry executive director of the family justice on center in New Orleans. Which very briefly is this phenomenal organization that does everything under one roof but if you wanna tell people because Monique has referred to. What we. It. To. Make it so easy for survivors to come to one place. Rather get a list of on the phone numbers in the places that they have to go. When you -- in crisis and you need help. You so overwhelmed and we don't want to have them to have to go any place but to one place. We want police to be able to bring survivors there we want emergency. People in the community that are -- -- anybody who is. Dealing with a a victim of domestic it's or sexual thoughts stocking. To really be able to come no one place and then from there will help navigate through this very complex very complicated system. When you hit the criminal justice system involved and and when women. Are involved in these situations that call 911. Didn't they're not even considering themselves victims domestic products they don't put that label on it. They just know there pain there hurt and it scared. And when they come they don't know that they're getting involved with the criminal justice system and they don't have any idea. You know what's gonna happen to their kids with systems are getting involved so. Our job is really to help facilitate them through that process. Help them do the safety planning that they need so that they can stay safe. To think about all the things that they're probably not. Aware of and have no idea what they need to do so that's the process that we're there we have prosecutors say yeah we police officers there we have counselors there. We have a whole range of services. That's gonna help them get through this process and it's just been incredible it's really. I think has been life changing in New Orleans and has has significantly. Improved. The delivery and that coordination of services because. If all of all of these systems stay in their silos nobody gets the big picture that and nobody connects the dots and until you connect those dots and really. Get an understanding of how these are these complex behaviors these things are impacting. This one family that we're not going to be successful in preventing these deaths -- Well -- just an enemy you have been around long enough to have seen the evolution of this entire situation and and in years past and until and the woman who you know could write multiple books on it. But it was -- such a delicate subject to sell it it's it's in some people it's personal it's family we don't interfere. Now it's a violence it's a crime and we can't tolerate. And I think that's been the longest journey that we -- is really to help people understand that. You know so often we think that violence in the home it's private and it's nobody else's business. And I think over the years and our advocacy efforts and our just education and public awareness. With -- people understand that those children who were grown up in these situations. Really are gonna be the batters of the future in this generation -- just like when he is talking about. You know it continues to to generate from from generation to generation if we don't really stop that. And we also have been able to make the case that violence in the home will end up being violence in the streets that that the violence that we've seen perpetrated. Ali's massive. Horrific situations really are coming from children more than likely that have been exposed to violence. And -- been significantly impact and so that's a dynamic we need to really stop. And on -- that Michael Williamson with the united way. We're looking at the next generation how how out of young men how do we stop. This -- We -- that told -- I said this before we were I think presenting an award. To -- governor of the you know I'm. You know -- on my wife two young -- And so you know trying to -- good example. Mean certainly is -- harsh punishments. For folks that -- that your Africa. Crime but trying to set an example for young men and young women you know in our communities -- you know this is -- acceptable behavior. He wishes are for better for our community and that. You know taking out you know your frustrations are acts of violence to control against an individual just an appropriate and so. Jennifer Austrian in -- way it's you know it's about investing in programs to help support that message. And once again working with partners to give responsible. You know legislation passed reform policies. -- just don't work and mean you can live in a state like Louisiana. In this are -- that we have -- think if we can do anything to save. One lives because we influenced one person who think differently you know it's called a success. You know we we used to figure then have to look at him was 15870. People killed but -- -- like 35 of those people. For people who were not the direct victim it was the mother the sister of the child who happened to be there. It just it's just this incredible blind ranger college. And I think that's a recent trend that is very concerning to us because we have seen an increase where. It's not just you know so -- say they're suicide on their coat themselves but they're not gonna go down by themselves they're gonna take. Anybody else that they're angry whip and and that concerns is that they're gonna go after the mothers say they gonna go after the children are gonna go after. Just other people so we're very concerned about the number of people in these -- she's. Let me ask you is part of one of these laws. I may have read it wrong I thought that the laws had changed a while back. That if the woman called 911. And then the police came and there was evidence you know bruise or something like that. That they would automatically arrest and she didn't have to do that she didn't have to say arrest him. Because it became so bad when he got out it was worse for her so that they took it away from. Yes. There's. There was no mandatory arrest provision in the law it was discretionary. And and that's and that's one of the problems. What we do you have now. Is if their. If there is. A domestic peace battery. And there's probable cause for arrest. Yes that person can be arrested but I think one of the biggest changes in the lot it's that people now understand that it's the state. That becomes. The prosecution it's not the victim vs the abuser. Right so at the state steps and and even if the abuser wants to -- can't. Her charges. She's not going to be able to -- So that that's a huge protection because. So many times. The apiece it could say eat eat and we policeman to but you're gonna lose your insurance I'm -- you know whatever whatever. And they would be frightened and to. Perpetuating that that prosecution but now. The state will. Take over that prosecution. Out of your hands. You know want to call -- -- and I just think that's very important right to a multitude well and I'd also like to say that we've made terrific progress especially in Orleans parish because oftentimes tootsie. Misdemeanor after misdemeanor after misdemeanor and it's not it would be inconceivable to think that they can hit it to ten charges of domestic battery. And and not escalate to a higher charge and so now with this block yes to say that the second offense is gonna automatically be considered a felony. Really helps us to it too. Identified this as just a very serious crime and to really make sure that the please understand that this is a crime because we do see. Huge volume we get 111000 cost of service than a year now only 30% of those and open era so you know we still have a ways to go. And we really want it and make sure that on these penalties are being enhanced when we have more than one. Chart. Stay with the second one will be right back well we've been discussing. Really some victories and on the issue of domestic violence in the three new laws have been passed by the state legislature and -- four Q you were rallying the troops up -- care how many times heaven knows but. It couldn't have been done without. JP morale or. -- -- right now I'm sorry yes. Yes. Represented admiring -- introduced. Three of the bills. In the in the house side. And then -- rain and introduced. The other two bills in the senate -- senator morale. And they are extraordinary leaders I have to tell you that through this process I had. And I have so much more respect. And I ever had before for a them really hard working legislators that are out there and how passionate they are. To try to make legislation that they feel. And makes it difference. Just how hard they work to try to get that passed they're just as passionate as any of us Slorc. And he can't say that our passion without mentioning our pied piper and that rage and that was charming -- pretty. The Who has done this type of work for thirty years. And she took us all all of the volunteers on the net domestic violence service providers and the advocates and that. And many women from the united -- women's leadership council. In an out of people's offices and all around told us when we had to be there. Gave us talking points she was a crusader honestly. No one else could have been and she deserves. A wealth of credit. Either from her or from any of you why do you think Louisiana has been so. Historically high in these numbers compared to other states -- afraid to take guns away. And -- that's really because. We sell our state as a sportsman's paradise. -- it's all about. And getting your first gun to go to -- cunning our. Going deer hunting with your child and I had many. Legislators say. So if if a guy is convicted of domestic abuse battery telling me not going to be able to take his five year old -- cunning. And I'm thinking like that I ought to be happy that even has visitation with this five year old after he's convicted of the crime like this. But I'm really alum wanted to say two words and when that starts with an out and that's go fishing. Net assets and I'll iPad and it's very good it is and anti hunting and isn't that it is that. When people have shown dangerous behavior. And when people other people's lives -- -- by golly shouldn't have -- Current social collect another another question -- So if you are police officer you can convicted of domestic -- he's -- you -- -- job. I sit her little wants a police officer. That's a convicted felon. To us today you know calling nine year how are being out there protecting your children. Some of the questions which just illogical but it all goes back to that. Mentality that almost every everybody wants to hunt -- to enjoy all the wonders -- sportsman's paradise. That they are sometimes when. The consequence. Has got to. Fit the crime if you drive. Intoxicated. You gonna lose your right to drive a car. And if you commit. Violent acts against the people that you're supposed to love the most you you. You -- that that trusts with in your own household. Well guess what there are consequences and that consequence it's going to be. Your inability to possess a firearm and stay. It's it's like this is the new day of the whole issue of domestic violence which so many people have for so many years like -- have worked so hard to battle. Now it's really. -- they're really facing these significant issues and -- on the money gonna go to run. Civil pursue civil laws and we're gonna have you back on that as well congratulations. For all you have John. Monique I cheer you on is and everybody who listened to that story to us and and what a wonderful thing you've done for your children do. -- that they won't have ever have that image you have the image of the very strong woman you are thank you very much for for coming on. Everyone stay with us we'll be back in just a moment -- this really is a red letter day as they were walking out the door they were saying history has been made in the state Louisiana. And it truly -- This has been an -- and I followed for. Really over thirty years doing -- a series when I first cut to New Orleans on battery. And knew very little about it but then to see. They continue in only grow worse and all of a sudden we are doing right so congratulations to them. Now it is the 1000 dollar vacation cash contest the code word this hour is nature an eight TUR. Eighty. Text the word nature to seven to 81 that's 72881. For your chance to win 1000 dollars nationwide without ever putting on your phone. Your chance of an easy 1000 dollar vacation cash is just literally one text away listen for the next code word before the top our news at 5 PM. We never charge for -- but individual plan text and data rates do apply. Good luck from Smart radio -- com and WW well now the news.