In-Depth: Domestic violence survivors share their stories

OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE) - KNOE sat down with two women who shared their stories of domestic violence and resiliency ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness month in October.

SOURCE: KNOE

"In 1993, I married a man of Bossier city firefighter, paramedic.
And we had a little girl Miranda. We had her in 1995 And in 1999, he murdered her," said Kris Barney, survivor and advocate.

Purple Patches Inc. Founder Monica Moore also shared her story.
"The first say a year and a half was fine, everything was good, after that it started with little things, the yelling at me, then maybe pushing me down." Moore said.

Both women turned their experiences into a platform to educate others and provide a source of relief through public speaking, time, and resources.

Domestic violence affects intimate relationships, but it doesn’t just happen to women. Men, children, and pets can also be victims of domestic abuse.

"Many times that power and control starts out with verbal abuse and emotional abuse and then it and then it escalates into the physical and sexual abuse," Valerie Bowman the Director of the Domestic Violence Program at the Family Justice Center.

That same abuse doesn’t always get physical, abusers can control the victim’s emotions and finances and will often use any method to maintain control.

"Cyber abuse which is the internet being used as a weapon really to stalk or harass another person and stalking is a crime in Louisiana," Kate Hilburn, Community Advocate for the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team.

According to a recent study done by the Violence Policy Center, La. ranks second in the nation for the most female homicides by men.
63 women were killed by men in 2017 alone, which is 2.64 women per 100,000 people.

"We have had success here in Ouachita Parish and North East Louisiana in reducing it but it still continues to be an issue that we're dealing with," Bowman said.
Many say that leaving a violent relationship can make it stop, in reality, it can be even more dangerous.

"75 percent of people who are murdered in domestic violence situations were leaving," Hilburn said.
There are a variety of reasons that people don’t believe. For Barney she says, victims are misunderstood and that there a many reasons why they don’t leave.

"There are a lot of factors as to why women say and they don't leave. And I think as a society, as a country, we need to really understand that as well. It's so hard. And it's terrifying. Actually, I lost my child, because I chose to leave," Barney said.

The state domestic violence hotline number is 1-888-411-1333.
The Domestic Abuse Resistance Team (DART) operates out of seven parishes in Northeast La. and provides counseling services, shelter, and other resources for men, women, children and pets. Their crisis hotline number is 318-251-2255.

The Wellspring in Ouachita Parish is partnered with the Family Justice Center, who also provide counseling, support, and legal services. Their hotline number is 318-323-1505.

Hope in the Light of Day is on Oct. 3 in Monroe and is a domestic violence awareness event to celebrate survivors and advocacy groups.