[StBernard] St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office teams with Battered Women's Shelter to help victims of abuse

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Jul 24 23:19:45 EDT 2009

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office teams with Battered Women's Shelter to
help victims of abuse
by The Times-Picayune
Friday July 24, 2009, 12:00 PM
Citing an increase in recent domestic violence and disturbance cases, the
St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office and the Battered Women's Shelter in
Chalmette are teaming up to help victims remove themselves from abusive

Sheriff's deputies responding to domestic disturbance calls will double
their efforts to make sure people are aware of the services offered by the
shelter, which include providing women a place to stay and aid ranging from
counseling to help obtaining restraining orders from their abusers.

Also, the Sheriff's Office has applied for a federal grant seeking money to
devote a sheriff's investigator full-time to domestic violence cases and
crimes against women in general, Chief Deputy Sheriff James Pohlmann said in
a news release.

Officials from the shelter recently met with sheriff's officials about the
incidents of violence and what can be done, Pohlmann and Gail Gowland, the
shelter's executive director, said.

Women from St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and other parishes live at the
shelter. An average stay is 45 days. More than half of the residents are

Pohlmann and Gowland said the level of violence in domestic cases is rising
and is made worse by money problems, drug and alcohol abuse and other
problems of the post-Hurricane Katrina era.

"When life gets harder for some people they wrongly take it out on those
they are losest to," Pohlmann said.

People seeking help can call the Battered Women's Shelter at 504.277.3177 or
the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office at 271.2501 and they will be referred to
the shelter.

In St. Bernard, eight people have been shot in domestic cases in the last 17
months, officials said. Three people were killed in connection with the
shootings; two others committed suicide.

St. Bernard deputies will also inform victims of domestic violence about the
state Crime Victims Reparations program in which money is available to
assist victims of violent crimes. The victim reparations coordinator for St.
Bernard is Sheriff's Det. Lt. Jennifer Turnage, who can be reached at

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