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




Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Board of Directors for Iris Domestic Vioolence Center was forced to postpone indefinitely its scheduled October 2, 2020 fundraiser. 

"With the success of the 2019 Iris Tiara Luncheon and the momentum of our agency headed into October, recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this was not an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do" said John J. Price, executive director for Iris Domestic Violence Center. 

This year, instead of a single fundraising event, Iris is initiating a month long virtual fundraising program where donors, supporters and volunteers of the agency can show their support by making a contribution of funds or time to the agency.  

We kicked off Domestic Violence Awareness Month with our "Paint the Town Purple" campaign to honor victims of domestic abuse and bring together all those in the community fighting to end abuse and violence. 

Our "Paint the Town Purple" campaign asks the community to show their support for Iris and our cause to end domestic abuse by wearing, exhibiting, decorating and promoting the color purple which is the recognized color for domestic violence awareness.  Participans are invited to take a picture of their purple contribution and send it to Iris where it will be posted on our website or Facebook page.  Pics should be sent to 

With the loss of the fundraising event this month, relied on by the agency to bridge the gap between our annual funding and necessary expenses, we are also making a special plea to consider making a financial contribution to the agency to allow us to continue to provide the support and services to victims of family violence and domestic abuse.  

This year our goal is to raise $50,000 and we hope that our annual donors and funders will be able to make a contribution towards our reaching our goal.  Your generosity will make a difference in our community by allowing us to continue our work.


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 Domestic Violence Center 

24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 

1 (225) 389-3001 (local)
1 (800) 541-9706 (toll free)

Main Office:
(225) 389-3002

Mailing Address:
PO Box 52809
Baton Rouge, LA 70892


Sylvia Sullivan Duke

  November 1, 1936 – October 11, 2020

Sylvia Sullivan Duke, longtime volunteer and board member of the Iris Domestic Violence Center, passed Sunday afternoon, October 11, 2020.  Sylvia served on the Iris Board of Directors for many years and was truly the heart and soul for Iris Domestic Violence Center.  Sylvia was the 2019 Chairperson for the successful "Iris Tiara Luncheon" held just last year and was instrumental in conceiving and organizing that event. 

But Sylvia’s activism was much more than just about Iris.  She believed and always espoused that with a little support and guidance, women can do anything.  It was the principal of both her work and volunteerism.  

During the administration of both Governors’ Edwin Edwards and John Treen, Sylvia was appointed to the Louisiana Task Force for the Talent Bank of Women. This group was entrusted to help identify women to be appointed or promoted in state government service. In 1994, she joined former U.S. Senator John Breaux to work on his Women’s Advisory Committee.

Sylvia was involved in the development of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) and served on the inaugural Friends on PBRC Board, which established the first Women’s Health Day at Pennington.

Sylvia gave her time as a trained volunteer for Prevent Child Abuse in Louisiana during her time with this group was named their volunteer of the year. She was also instrumental in helping establish and secure initial funding for the Louisiana Center for Women and Government. She has served as Vice President of the Board on three different occasions and as President for one year, and will soon finish her second six-year term.

Sylvia enjoyed being a member of the Bengal Belles and served as treasurer for the  organization.  Always an avid fan of LSU, she volunteered with the LSU ladies golf team for their special events. She has also enjoyed working with LSU Gymnastics Coach DD Breaux and her team as they work with Bradie James and his Foundation 56 to raise money for Breast Cancer prevention. Over the years, Sylvia has mentored many young women at LSU. Her guidance and support have been felt in a large number of careers - not only in Louisiana, but outside of our state as well.  Her passion for volunteerisim and assisting others continued throughout her life.  

At Iris, Sylvia cannot be replaced – she was one of a kind.  Her indomitable spirit and dedication to the cause of women and the work of Iris Domestic Violence Center was a source of strength for all who knew her – especially the staff and the Board of Directors at Iris.

We share her loss with countless individuals who called her friend, her loving family, and her devoted husband, Gene. 

Rest in Peace, Ms. Sylvia. 



Iris - COVID-19 Response  

Like everyone else on the planet, the staff at Iris Domestic Violence Center understands that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is of great concern and on the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Changes to our normal life routines, health concerns, sheltering in place directives and economic challenges are all stressful occurrences for most people.  However, they are of even greater concern for those individuals living with an abusive person and as our historical data has shown, these added stressors usually lead to an increase in domestic abuse and family violence events. 

As such, we thought it important to know that Iris Domestic Violence Center is staying true to its mission and will remain fully operational and provide trauma informed care and acute victim services to qualified individuals as a result of domestic abuse or family violence. 

Iris is following and complying with the latest directives from federal, state and local levels and will continue to do so throughout this crisis.    While we will continue to provide services to those in need, we will also take all necessary precautions to protect our staff, our volunteers and the individuals that we serve and keep them safe. 

Presently, we are announcing the following for the next 30 days or until April 15, 2020:

  • We will not be accepting in-kind donations directly from the public;
  • We are postponing all currently scheduled community outreach activities and will not be scheduling them going forward in compliance with social distancing practices and self-quarantine policies;
  • We are cancelling all regular meetings of support groups or group counselling sessions. 
  • We will not be holding pretrial conferences with clients in person.  Please call and ask to speak to the legal department about your case.  
However, Iris Domestic Violence Center remains open, continues to shelter qualified victims of domestic abuse and is working 24/7 for those in need.  If you need help or assistance at this time as a result of domestic abuse or family violence, please contact Iris Domestic Violence Center at our crisis phone line number (225) 389-3001.

At this time, we cannot be sure how long these practices will be suspended, modified or altered, but Iris will continue to provide updates on our status to ensure that people remain informed going forward.  Please look for any updates on our website ( or visit Iris on Facebook.  

Our staff will continue to monitor the situation and to respect the directives of our governmental leaders.  We remain committed to ensuring that those individual in need of help and assistance due to domestic abuse and family violence are able to access the needed help and assistance to address those concerns and remain safe.  Iris is just a phone call away.

It is our fervent wish that everyone remains safe.  Both the Iris staff and our Board of Directors join in thanking our elected leaders, our front-line medical responders, law enforcement and our collaborative agency partners for their action, dedication and courage at this challenging time. 

Please stay safe and encourage others to do so.  Thank you for your support.

John J. Price – Executive Director

Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center                                                    Iris Domestic Violence Center Center  

P.O. Box 52809
Baton Rouge, LA  70892

 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. 




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 Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center and The 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