Capital Area 24 hour Crisis Line: (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706





When: SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 

            11 A.M. - 1 P.M.


Why:  We are celebrating the strength of women - wear your tiara and purple - come celebrate with us! 

All proceeds raised are tax deductible and will benefit Iris Domestic Violence Center.   

For information on sponsorships, please contact Sylvia S. Duke,  Development Committee Chair, at (225) 252-6850 or email her at 

March, 2019

Funding from Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation allows Iris to create a  Survivor Resource Lab to assist survivors on Pathway to Independence - Assists in creating real and viable options for victims of domestic abuse.  

Iris Domestic Violence Center has ushered off the new year with an ambitious project to assist survivors on the road to independence and self empowerment - the Iris Survivors Resource Lab.  

Survivors escaping an abuser often leave their homes with nothing more than the clothes on their back.  For many of these individuals, there simply wasn't enough time to organize and pack their personal belongings or gather important documents they will need to reestablish themselves at a new location. As a result, in the first few weeks after leaving, survivors often are required to recreate their "paper identity" in order to obtain a drivers license, state identification card, social security card or other documentation needed to go forward and apply for a job, rent a vehicle or lease housing.  Without a computer and access to the internet, this task can become overwhelming.  These challenges serve as obstacles to survivors that must be overcome if they are to truly escape their abuse and lead a life of independence.  The more challenges they face in reestablishing their lives, the more likely they are to return to their abuser.  Statistics show that a survivor leaves an abuser an average of seven times before finally breaking away from an abusive situation.  

With those sobering facts, the Iris Domestic Violence Center is creating a Survivor Rsource Lab to assist survivors address those challenges.  With partial funding provided by the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, Iris is creating a Survivor Resource Lab consisting of a bank of computers and printers with internet access dedicated for survior's use.  

Providing survivors with a computer and internet resource lab will enable them to become self empowered on their road to independence by actively engaging in the process to forge their new life.   From the resource lab, survivors will be able to attend online school or job training seminars, prepare a resume, apply for a job, secure safe and affordale housing or locate transportation options and dependable child care - all from a safe and secure location.  

Many of the survivors we see have not only been the victim of physical and emotional abuse, but also financial abuse.  In order to live a life of independence, apart from their abuser, it is imperative that they find employment to earn a living wage and financially provide for their family.  

Many survivors have never worked or been out of the job market for a long time.  Job training and work development classes are often needed.  Learning data entry on the computer and internet protocols are also helpful for survivors.  Trained advocates or representatives of other agencies will be providing assistance and instruction on topics designed to help survivors meet this challenge.

Iris has obtained a commitment from Capital One Bank to provide financial literacy courses to survivors to assist them in understanding debt, the use of credit, and appropriate budgeting as they forge their new life iundependent from their abuser.   

The Survivor Resource Lab will provide domestic abuse survivors with the appropriate tools to allow them to fundamentally change their lives.  Out of a survivor's desire to live a life for themselves and their children, without abuse, the resource lab will help promote self empowerment by incorporating the survivor into the challenge of creating that life with the help and assistance of Iris.  

Providing survivors with a brief respite from their abusive situation and working on their behalf to identify and secure services which they need is clearly helpful to survivors.  It's what we do.  However, it is often disheartening when the survivor is either forced or chooses to return to their abuser because they were unable to sustain that life over a longer period of time when on their own.  The Iris Survior Resource Lab is intended to help improve the chances of a survivor breaking away from an abusive situation by providng real and viable options for a different type of life - born out of a survivor's courage and desire for self empowerment.  We'll keep you updated as this project goes forward. 


Trashica Robinson joins Administrative Team at Iris.




Trashica Robinson, a marketing graduate of Southeastern, has joined the Iris administration team.  Keysha has four years experience as the associate director of SAFE, the domestic violence service center  in Hammond. She serves as the mayor of Tangipahoa Village and sits on the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement board.  





Louisiana Domestic Violence Fatality List, 2016





The 22nd Annual IRIS CHEF SHOW OFF - CANCELLED as of 2/1/2017

This event has been cancelled and will be re-scheduled in 2018. 

WAFB Interview with Lynne Medley-Long announcing the 20th Annual Women's Chef Show Off, March 26th at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino.

Take the #50ShadesofGreen challenge and support   .


    Week is March 8th - 14th!

I'll organize an activity or event, like an awareness event or local fundraiser!

I'd like to attend an event already going on in my area!

February 18, 2015

Stalked: 'I didn't feel like a whole woman, he took so much out of me'

January 29, 2015

Public Service Announcent to play Super Bowl Sunday.

September 9, 2014
WBRZ2: Domestic homicide on the rise in Louisiana 
The Advocate: Louisiana climbs in the death rate of women at the hands of men

August 18, 2014
The Advocate: EBR prosecutors take new tack in domestic violence prosecutions 

August 14, 2014
FOX44: Vigil highlights new laws against domestic violence
WBRZ2: Domestic violence court to help convicts in Baton Rouge
Dozens gather at Capitol for domestic violence vigil

August 12, 2014
WRKF 89.3: Baton Rouge hosts the Monument Quilt 

June 10, 2014

The Advocate: Officials call for more resources to stop domestic violence
NBC33: Local leaders join mother of murder victim to pledge to stop domestic violence 

June 9, 2014
WAFB9: Local leaders, victim advocates bring attention to domestic violence 

May 8, 2014
NBC33: Local judges consider domestic violence court

April 24, 2014
WAFB9: Local ministry group rolls out fundraiser for benefit of domestic violence center

April 21, 2014
FOX44: Advocates say help is available for domestic violence victims 

April 19, 2014
WBRZ2: Family mourns loss during candlelight vigil 

April 18, 2014
The Advocate: BR Woodworkers Club donates desks to Iris 

April 2014
The Advocate: Slaying victim had warned about danger 

March 30, 2014
The Advocate: Women Chefs' Show Off 

March 28, 2014
The Advocate: Domestic violence topic for Newcomer's Encore 

October 15, 2013
 WAFB Editorial: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 14, 2013
The Advocate: "Take Back the Night raises abuse awareness" 

Contact Us

Iris-Center 24-Hour Crisis Hotline:
1-800-541-9706 (toll free)

Main Office:
(225) 389-3002

Mailing Address:
PO Box 52809
Baton Rouge, LA 70892



Susan_Karimiha.jpgElected President of the Iris Board of Directors is Susan Karimiha, graduate research assistant and Ph.D. Candidate in the LSU School of Leadership and Human Resource Development (LSU LHRD). With a career of over 10 years in international development, she has worked around the world on country-specific development challenges. Susan is an active member in the Baton Rouge community, where she has served on Board of Directors of several non-profit organizations, including the Baton Rouge Gallery, Women's Community Rehabilitation Center (WCRC), Louisiana Industries For the Disabled (UpLIFTD)/Louisiana International Film Festival and LSU Sigma Iota Rho. She was awarded membership into the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations (LANO)’s Baton Rouge Community Leader Class of 2016.


Patti_Joy_Freeman.jpg     Lieutenant Detective Patti Joy Freeman with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s office was elected Vice President of the Iris Board of Directors. Patti is a native of Kennebunk, Maine having moved to Baton Rouge Louisiana as a child. She is currently a Detective Lieutenant with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, specializing specifically in Domestic Violence Investigations. In the course of more than 25 years of employment in law enforcement with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Patti has worked within the Uniform Patrol division, the Sex Offender Unit and General Detectives Division investigating sex crimes, crimes against children and the elderly. Patti completed the Law Enforcement Academy (Police Officer State Training) at Louisiana State University in 2000. Patti has attended courses at FBI/ Quantico, Scottsdale Art School and Oklahoma University as a Forensic Sketch Artist, completing more than 250 hours of training in this field. 




  The Board elected Veronica J. Mark, an assistant district attorney with the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s office, as Treasurer. Working in the District Attorney's office for East Bato Rouge, Veronica prosecutes both felony and misdemeanor criminal cases. Ms. Mark received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Grambling University where she served as the point guard on the women’s basketball team. After graduation, Ms. Mark worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Dallas and obtained her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Phoenix University. Ms. Mark was awarded her law degree from Southern University in 2006 and is currently a member of the Louisiana and Baton Rouge Bar Associations, the National District Attorney’s Association and the National Black Prosecutor’s Association.





Christen Pellegrin Ward was elected Secretary of the Iris Board of Directors. Born and raised in South Louisiana, Christen came to Baton Rouge in 1998 to attend LSU. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with minors in Sociology, Humanities and Studio Art. Christen is an alumni of Delta Zeta Sorority and past member of the Baton Rouge Junior League. After college, Christen moved to Dallas to work in the fashion industry and then came back home to Baton Rouge to raise her two children, Cooper and Sarah Grace. She’s always had a passion for real estate and design and in June of 2016, she became a licensed realtor. As a full time realtor, she’s been in the top 15% of the entire Greater Baton Rouge Board of Realtors for the last two years. 


John J. Price, former city official, appointed new Executive Director for IRIS Domestic Violence Center



The Capital Area Family Violence Intervention enter, Inc., also known as the Iris Domestic Violence Center, serving a seven-parish area around the capital area, has announced the selection of John J. Price, as its new executive director. Price will be succeeding Lynn Medley-Long as director who will be taking early retirement. Price was selected by the Board of Director’s Executive Search Committee to replace Medley-Long who served as the executive director for two years. The selection was made after a two-month search and selection process.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Melanie Fields, President of the Board of Directors. “John will bring leadership and creativity to the Center’s programs and a personal commitment to our mission to empower survivors, prevent relationship violence, and promote justice for victims of domestic and dating violence. He is a licensed attorney who has served in executive leadership capacities in many arenas. We felt he brought a fresh perspective on how the Iris Center can go about better serving our community and we are confident he will be a leader and advocate for victims, survivors and all those impacted by domestic violence. The board and I look forward to working alongside John as we continue to strengthen and expand the important services being offered to families impacted by domestic violence.” 

Price, a longtime resident of Baton Rouge, received his BS degree from Louisiana State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Paul M. Hebert School of Law, where he was inducted into the law school Hall of Fame. He has practiced law in Louisiana for over 30 years and most recently served as Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Baton Rouge under former Mayor President Melvin “Kip” Holden. He also served as the mayor’s appointment to the East Baton Rouge Parish Planning Commission. Mr. Price currently serves on the Board of Directors for University View Academy, a free public online charter school for kindergarten through 12th-grade.
“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve this community, especially in an area where the work that we do literally saves lives - every day. Domestic abuse and family violence have reached frightening proportions in Louisiana and particularly in the capital area. That abuse is not just physical, it can also involve emotional and financial abuse aimed at gaining or maintaining control over a victim. In addressing this epidemic, we will work to increase community awareness of domestic violence issues and, expand and strengthen our collaborative partnerships. We will protect the civil rights of domestic violence victims, particularly women and children, and provide the necessary resources, support and encouragement to empower them to break the cycle of domestic violence and abuse”, said Price.

Iris Domestic Violence Center and other Advocates Applaud the Passage of Bills Expanding Domestic Violence Protections

The Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the federally designated statewide coalition of shelters, non-residential programs and individuals working to end domestic violence in Louisiana, applauded last week’s final passage of bills expanding domestic violence protections in Louisiana. Representatives of HB 223 by Representative Helena Moreno and HB 27 by Representative Patrick Connick cleared their cleared their final legislative hurdle with Senate passage that sends each to the governor’s desk.

The bills close longstanding loopholes in Louisiana’s domestic violence statutes. HB 223 extends the majority of existing domestic violence protections to dating partners. Previously, dating partners who did not live together or share a child were excluded from the protections provided in the domestic abuse battery law. HB 27 changes the definition of “household member” in Louisiana’s domestic abuse criminal statutes to include cohabiting couples of the same sex. Louisiana is one of only two states whose current law explicitly excludes LGBT victims from these protections.

“These changes have been a long time coming,” said Mariah Wineski, Interim Executive Director at LCADV. “A large portion of domestic violence survivors have historically been excluded from the legal protections provided in the criminal code. We applaud today’s legislative victory and look forward to seeing the results of these changes in the field.”

John J. Price, newly appointed executive director of the IRIS Domestic Violence Center, said the bills “reflect the current reality that sexual abuse and domestic violence often occurs between individuals outside of a traditional family household or marriage. The abuse and violence often occurs where the individuals are in a dating relationship and is often between former spouses or relationship partners.”

The bills seek to fix issues in the law that have hindered Louisiana’s domestic violence response for years. According to LCADV, 60% of Louisiana’s intimate partner homicide victims in 2016 were not married to their abusers.

Wineski credits a strong coalition of advocates and supporters for the bills’ success. “Domestic violence is an issue that crosses all social and political boundaries. We are lucky to have a diverse network of people who care deeply about ending domestic violence in our state and are willing to put in the work to see real progress.”

The Coalition worked in partnership with several entities, including the Capital Area Domestic Violence Intervention Center, the United Way, various law enforcement and district attorney’s offices, along with other local domestic violence advocates across the state to achieve passage of the bills.

IRIS Domestic Violence Center Shelter - Fully Functional and Operational – and Looking to Remain So for the Future.

IRIS Domestic Violence Center Executive Director John J. Price, confirmed that the shelter facility used by IRIS to serve domestic violence survivors within its 7-parish area of service around Baton Rouge, has remained fully functional and operational since the flooding of 2016 and there is no set timeline in place to close the facility in order to rehab the structure.

Apparently, there had some confusion and a few questions arise due to our announced plans to make needed repairs to the shelter facility following the 2016 flooding. While the shelter facility sustained damages as a result of the flood, those damages did not result in a closure of the shelter facility or a reduction of the services being provided. Since the flooding, IRIS has remained open and will continue to remain open in order to fulfill our mission to empower survivors, prevent relationship violence, and promote justice for victims of domestic and dating violence, their children, and our communities.

“I simply wanted to insure the public that the doors of the IRIS shelter facility have always been open - and will always remain open - to provide for those domestic abuse survivors needing our services. At IRIS, we know that the services we provide to individuals who find themselves in a domestic abuse situation, can sometimes be the difference between life and death. The operation of our safe shelter facility is a critical component of what we can provide for those individuals who find themselves in a dangerous and threatening place while suffering in a domestic abuse relationship. In the future, it is our hope to attain an appropriate level of funding that will enable us to make needed repairs and rehab our shelter facility in order to better serve our survivors. I remain confident that this will happen at some point. However, we presently do not have a definitive timeline in place for when that will occur nor do we have a firm commitment for where the needed funding for such repairs will come.”

Presently, the shelter facility remains open for emergency housing services and IRIS will continue to serve domestic violence survivors and their children at the facility. 



Iris recieves Non-Profit of Excellence Award


The Louisiana Legislative Womens Caucus (LLWC)



Survivor's Feedback



April 26, 2016



 Esprit de Femme Awards - 2016


Iris Adopt-A-Room Campaign 2016

Contact Amada Cowley, Associate Executive Director for More info.

225-389-3002 or

March 18, 2016

The 1st Adopt-A-Room Project

Completed by and Special Thanks to: Kimberlee Wells and NU Image Events and Design Company Cost: $1,000.00


 March 25, 2016

Walmart Easter Basket Donations



To protect and empower survivors, prevent relationship violence, and promote justice for victims of Domestic Violence, their children and our communities. 




Iris will be a nationally recognized, high quality, cost effective model for providing domestic violence services. 


For more than 30 years, Iris Domestic Violence Center (formerly operating as CAFVIC/Battered Women's Program) has provided professional, compassionate, and empowering support to survivors of family violence and their children. All services are free and confidential. Services are offered to residential (in-shelter) as well as non-residential survivors. Iris Center serves the parishes of East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberville, West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee, West Feliciana, and East Feliciana.


If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call our 24 hour crisis line:

  (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706