Domestic Violence Unit
Walter Reed, District Attorney
During my thirty-five years in law enforcement, I have witnessed the tragic Cycle of Domestic Violence, as both a police officer and as District Attorney. Clearly, in this thirty five years, nothing has been as upsetting and alarming to me as actually dealing with victims who have been traumatized by Domestic Violence. In my early years as a police officer, Domestic Violence calls were handled very differently than today. Over three decades ago, law enforcement were not welcome to pursue crimes which occurred behind closed doors or where victims refused to provide assistance to law enforcement. As a result, the Cycle of Violence continued to grow.
The realization that the system was failing to address the core issues of Domestic
Violence was obvious. Therefore, in March 1995, I brought my concern before
the St. Tammany Parish Police Jury in what is now Ordinance #95-2177. The ordinance
permitted the development of a Domestic Violence unit, beginning with one part
time prosecutor and a secretary. Since that time, the Domestic Violence Unit
has grown to include a full time prosecutor, a victim's coordinator/advocate,
a full time investigator, and a docket secretary. The Domestic Violence Unit
reviews each case individually and proceeds with cases suitable for trial. The
DV unit pursues a case on behalf of the State of Louisiana, and in no way, should
a victim of Domestic Violence feel responsible for charges brought against a
batterer. The DV unit often proceeds to trial without victim participation wherein
there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to bear the burden of proof commonly
referred to as "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt."
I have developed this Website in order to continue to inform anyone in need of assistance of the service available within my office. Below, I have provided the numbers of the various agencies which can assist you.
IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE, PLEASE CALL.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE - 1-800-799-SAFE