(March 14, 2013)

Centenary and Project Celebration join community partners to prevent violence against women

SHREVEPORT, LA — The Centenary community hosted Project Celebration's event, Voices of Men: Building Community Allies, on March 13. The event engaged the support of men in preventing domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking, and dating violence against women in the community.

Angela Henderson
Angela Henderson, Project Celebration, Inc.

"We are committed to helping individuals and families live productively in violence-free communities," said Angela Henderson, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Coordinator for Project Celebration, Inc. "Through education, advocacy, and collaboration of all available resources, the community will develop the highest capacity for safety, self-reliance, and personal well-being. Men can use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men's violence against women."

Caddo Parish Coroner Todd Thoma provided opening remarks. Centenary senior and Miss Shreveport 2013 Chelsi Hefner discussed the dynamics of sexual and domestic violence.

"Louisiana has the highest rate of women killed by men in the nation," said Hefner. "Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted. I myself was a witness to domestic violence, which is why my platform is called Breaking the Silence. I encourage everyone to build relationships—build a support system—and find help."

After two survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault shared their personal struggles, Sergeant Lindsay Bonner of the Shreveport Police Domestic Violence Unit discussed ways in which men can serve as allies to victims of violence. He encouraged attendees to set positive examples for young men and to recognize that preventing and stopping domestic violence is everyone's responsibility. Shreveport City Prosecutor Terrell Myles closed out the event by reciting the pledge to end violence against women and asking those in attendance to sign it.

Various community partners who joined together to host participate in this awareness program "Voices of Men" include: Project Celebration, Shreveport Police Department, Louisiana Baptist University, Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault, the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office, Faith in Fathers, and Goodwill Industries.

For more information on Project Celebration, Inc., and ending violence against women, visit their website, call the 24 hour hotline at 318.227.7900, and/or send an email to email.