Just before I participated in a panel discussion on how to end sexual assault on Louisiana’s campuses yesterday, the New Orleans Inspector General released a report on the NOPD’s mishandling of sex crimes. To say that I am outraged by the report’s findings is an extreme understatement.
Violence against women and children in Metro New Orleans is endemic. It is unconscionable and detrimental to the very fabric of our community. We must not stand idly by as these injustices occur. It is our responsibility as community leaders and elected officials to stamp it out!
As a husband and father, I have used my position as your senator to take bold action to protect women and children in our community.
I only wish the legislation that I sponsored in the previous legislative session could have been in effect sooner. I have included summaries of those that passed into law below for your review.
I am hopeful that Superintendent Harrison will do everything in his power to bring about justice and reform the NOPD’s Special Victims Section. And I will continue doing everything possible to make our neighborhoods safe, happy, and healthy.
Thank you for your continued support; together we can make a difference and improve the lives of our neighbors.
State Senator JP Morrell
District 3 (New Orleans, Jefferson, & St. Bernard)
Seeing deficiencies in sex crime investigations, Sen. Morrell championed a bill to require criminal justice agencies to conduct physical inventories of all sexual assault collection kits being stored by the agencies. They must also submit reports that include the number of kits that remain untested and the date the kits were collected.
View Act 124 here
Helping Women Escape Dangerous Situations
Before Sen. Morrell and his colleagues passed Act 316, many women were stuck in abusive marriages because the law did not allow them to collect immediate financial support from their spouses. Without the means to leave, many women were forced to remain in dangerous, violent situations. The new law that Sen. Morrell championed allows victims of domestic abuse to be awarded immediate financial support from spouses.
View Act 316 here
Punishing the Perpetrators of Domestic Violence
Sen. Morrell sponsored a bill that passed into law allowing the courts to award exemplary damages against those who commit acts of domestic abuse resulting in serious bodily injury or severe emotional and mental distress.
View Act 315 here
Ending Sexual Assault on Campuses
Sen. Morrell established a sexual assault task force in response to a survey done by the Board of Regents at his request. The survey collected a wide range of data from around the state disclosing the number of sexual assault incidents reported, number of sexual assault investigations conducted, and the written policies governing sexual assault at each Louisiana university and campus.
Morrell’s task force will thoroughly review the data collected in the survey and work to craft legislation to improve response and prevention of sexual assaults at public colleges and universities. Sen. Morrell plans to introduce the legislation drafted by the task force during the 2015 Regular Legislative Session.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, please reach out for help immediately.
In cases of emergency, call 911.
There are a number of resources available to aid the victims of violence.
The Metropolitan Center for Women & Children hosts a 24-hour line for emergency counseling and assistance. Metro staff and volunteers are trained in crisis intervention and can offer limited placement in emergency shelters and make appropriate referrals.
24-Hour Crisis Line
Metro New Orleans
Via Link: 211