Domestic Violence Unit
The Domestic Violence Unit was established in 2000 in order to provide comprehensive assistance for the victims of domestic violence. This unit is made up of two full-time Domestic Violence Specialists, and also employs other Patrol Domestic Violence Specialists who cover the Patrol shifts. Another deputy is also responsible for helping the victims of domestic violence with protective orders and filing for Crime Victim’s Reparations.
These Specialists respond on-scene to domestic violence crimes and immediately begin working with the victims. They fully investigate all domestic violence crimes making the victims' safety their top priority. They assist in safety planning, provide transportation to shelters, keep the victims informed of the status of cases, and provide court accompaniment when requested.
The Domestic Violence Specialists have been instrumental in influencing policies, practices, and even laws. Members of the PSS section testified before the Louisiana Legislature to facilitate the passage of Louisiana R.S. 46:2140.B, the Predominant Aggressor Law. In the past, victims were being unnecessarily arrested when conflicting accounts of domestic violence incidents were provided to law enforcement. Through the passage of this law, officers must now identify the "predominant aggressor" based on a list of relevant factors and arresting only that party. This law has greatly diminished the number of dual arrests made... arrests which only re-victimized the domestic violence victim.
Currently the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office is working in collaboration with Metropolitan Battered Women's Shelter by providing a representative of their organization, Ms. Tamara Joseph, to assist with domestic-related protective orders. Ms. Joseph's office is located within the Police Social Services Office in Thibodaux. The information that Ms. Joseph receives is confidential unless the victim request that she speak with the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office. You may Email Ms. Joseph or call (985) 449-4477.
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