4th Annual Family Violence workshop promotes a "Blueprint for Ch - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

4th Annual Family Violence workshop promotes a 'Blueprint for Change'

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The 4th Annual Preventing Family Violence Workshop themed, "Blueprint for Change," is being held Friday at McNeese State University, giving hundreds the opportunity to learn how to cope with and end family violence.

According to a study released by the Violence Policy Center in October, Louisiana ranks fourth in the country for number of murders of women at the hands of men. In that same demographic, Calcasieu Parish ranks in the top five parishes in the state. While sexual violence may be the most prevalent, organizers of this year's family violence workshop are broadening what people think is violence to include child abuse, animal abuse, sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

"It's a mutual cooperative effort," said CPSO Commander Mike Byrne. "You have to learn to set aside the turf wars and work together to accomplish things."

Working together is the main objective for SART, the Sexual Assault Resource Team which is made up of representatives from the Sheriff's Office, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, Oasis' Violence Programs, The People's Advocate and the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office.

"They meet every two months to discuss cases and how to move forward," said Beth Zilbert, executive director of The People's Advocate in Lake Charles.

"Many times when people are victims of criminal activity, they can wait long periods of time before resolutions come about. SART helps to shorten that time," Zilbert said.

Hear more from Zilbert and state officials who work towards ending family violence on later editions of 7News.

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