Blair Brown, founding president of Equality for HER and communication studies junior, witnessed domestic abuse between two University students last year.
Her roommate’s boyfriend came into their apartment, smacked the roommate to the back of the room, cut into her bedroom and began beating her.
Brown said the first question the police officer asked was why the roommate opened the door for her boyfriend.
“I think it’s statements like that that are making this issue more and more prevalent,” Brown said. “That’s taking all of the fault off her boyfriend.”
Louisiana has the fourth-highest national rate of men killing women, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center.
The report says that in Louisiana, 45 women were killed in 2012 in single-victim and single-offender incidents.
The Violence Policy Center released its annual analysis of homicide data citing the number of men murdering women in 2012. The report is based on the most recent data released by the FBI.
According to the report, 37 of 40 women were killed by someone they knew. Nineteen women were the wives, common-law wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of the offenders.
“Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence,” said the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence report.
The age range includes college-aged women, placing University students at a greater risk.
“We do see incidents of domestic violence as well as dating violence,” said LSU Police Department spokesman Capt. Cory Lalonde.
No incidents have involved weapons, Lalonde said, but reports of domestic violence between students typically involve physical violence.
Lalonde recommends female students take a self-defense class to protect themselves in immediately threatening situations.
Brown said she hopes to see a mandate requiring police officers to be trained to deal with the high frequency of domestic violence incidents in Louisiana.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2011 investigation into the New Orleans Police Department found the NOPD inadequately conducted domestic violence investigations.
“The absence of specific guidance for officers and detectives not only impedes effective response and investigation, but also creates potentially dangerous conditions for victims,” the report says.
Lalonde encourages students to report the incident so authorities can take the appropriate action.
“In the same way we encourage people to report sexual assaults, we encourage them to report domestic violence type incidents as well,” Lalonde said. “Because, like sexual assault, there are a wide variety of resources available, but the doors to those resources don’t open until it is reported to someone.”
Brown said Equality for HER receives emails from victims of domestic abuse, and Equality for HER guides these women to resources to assist them after their trauma.
Through awareness campaigns, Brown said activists can change the mindset of this society.
“When you give people that education, then they can share it as well,” Brown said. “And that’s how you get things moving.”