What is Domestic Violence?
I want the abuse to stop. What should I do?
Call 911 for immediate help. If you are unable to do so, you should go to the police station nearest to where the abuse has occurred. If you have suffered an injury, you should seek medical attention and have photographs of your injuries taken. Remember, any evidence of the abuse, such as broken furniture, punched holes in the wall, torn clothing, damaged phone or cell phone and any types of messages: voice mail, text or email are helpful in the investigation and prosecution of your case.
The abuser has been arrested. What happens now?
After arrest, the abuser will appear before a judge. This process is called an arraignment. An attorney will represent the abuser, and an Assistant District Attorney will represent the People of the State of Louisiana. The case against the abuser is brought in the name of the People of the State of Louisiana, not your name. At arraignment, the judge can either set bail, hold the abuser in jail without bail, or release the abuser, who must then return to court on a future date. Usually the abuser is arraigned within 24 hours of his or her arrest.
CAUTION: The abuser may be released at any time after arraignment; you can register with LAVNS at www.vinelink.com. LAVNS will contact you immediately upon the defendants release.
What do you mean the abuser can be released? Don’t I get any protection?
At arraignment, the Assistant District Attorney can ask the judge to issue an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a court order that instructs the abuser to refrain from certain conduct, including harassing, intimidating, threatening, assaulting, or stalking you. In addition, the Order of Protection can instruct the abuser to refrain from having any contact with you, whatsoever. If the abuser violates the Order of Protection, he or she can be re-arrested.
Contact the Clerk of Court's office at (985) 497-3331 for information on obtaining a Stay Away Order.
An Order of Protection cannot guarantee your safety. Therefore, it is important to have a safety plan. Our Office can assist you in obtaining court-related information and social services to help provide for your safety and ease any emotional trauma. Our Victim’s Assistance Unit can help you with:
- Developing a safety plan;
- Obtaining case information;
- Arranging to speak with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to your case;
- Obtaining a copy of the order of protection issued in your case;
- Referrals to domestic violence shelters, including relocation for senior victims;
- Individual or group counseling;
- Referrals for children exposed to Domestic Violence;
- Referrals to organizations with expertise in family court and/or immigration matters;
- Transportation to and from court;
- Advocacy with other agencies on your behalf