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


Recent News:  ADOPT-A-ROOM Project at Iris Kicks Off 

Contact Jane Schoen at or 389-3002

March, 2018

Iris Domestic Violence Center names Monica Alfred as Community Outreach And Education Director (COED). 


Monica Alfred has been named Community Outreach and Education Director (COED) for Iris Domestic Violence Center.  Iris created the COED position to emphasize a more concentrated focus on "preventing" domestic abuse and relationship violence in 2018 as opposed to serving survivors.  Ms. Alfred, as  COED, will be providing public information presentations about domestic abuse as well as concentrated training exercises to individuals and organizations seeking to learn about the dangers of domestic abuse.   While Iris will continue to serve the victims of domestic violence and strive to provide the support needed to empower those who are already victims and seeking assistance, we believe the fight to end domestic abuse requires that we expand our efforts to provide more public information about the problems and dynamics of domestic violence and the services available through Iris. 

Iris will make educating the public on the problems of domestic abuse a greater priority in 2018.  It is our hope to inform indivduals about the dangers of domestic violence before they become victims.  Presentations on the signs of domestic violence, what you should look for, how to respond to a friend, family member or coworker who you suspect is being abused and what services and assistance are available, can be of great help in preventing a further increase in the number of victims.  The prevention of domestic abuse and relationship violence can only be achieved if people know what it is - how to spot it - how it can arise in your life - and what you can do to prevent it from claiming additional victims. 

Since initiating the program, presentations have been made by Ms. Alfred and Iris Executive Director John J. Price to the freshman and sophomore class at Southern University, instructors with the LSU Dept. of Agriculture and to staff social workers at Woman's Hospital.  Presentations have also been made to the Professional Insurance Agents of Baton Rouge and health fairs at both MckInley High School and Woodlawn High School.  In April, a more extensive training on the nature of domestic violence and the role of mental health professionals is scheduled at Capital Area Human Services. 

It is anticipated that the public, folliwing the roll out of our new Iris website in May, will be able to view a sample of the training presentations being offered, select which one(s) that they are interested in seeing and schedule the event and date directly online by simply following a menu offering of the selected programs. 

Programs and trainings will be made available by Iris on a variety of topics ranging from a basic "DV 101" presentation to more individualized programs tailored to meet a specific situation or topic about which a group may be interested. For more information on our outreach program, please contact Monica Alfred at 389-3002 or email her at 

Jane Schoen named Director of Development for Iris Domestic Violence Center.


Jane Schoen has been appointed Director of Development for Iris Domestic Violence Center.  Ms. Schoen, who joined Iris last year, is working to coordinate both the Donor and Volunteer groups at Iris.  Ms. Schoen helped manage the recent Iris Adopt a Family Christmas program this past holiday season which was an overwhelming success as a total of 48 families were adopted and received Christmas gifts and presents through the generosity of our community. 

Under Ms. Schoen's leadership, Iris is busy working to better organize and coordinate the donor giving program in 2018.  The donations received by the Iris safe house shelter during the Christmas holidays were particularly special and came from the many generous followers of Iris who support our programs and the work we do in the fight against domestic abuse.   Those same donations are badly needed by Iris throughout the entire year and having a development director will go a long way to ensure that we are doing all we can to assist those wishing to make a donation to Iris and make the process simple and user friendly.  In addition to maintaining the indivdiual donor base for Iris, as Director of Development, Ms. Schoen will also establish relationships with local businesses, groups and organizations as part of a corporate giving program.  Jane will be a wonderful asset for Iris for years to come.   



55 Domestic Violence Fatalities In Louisiana September, 2015 – August, 2016

Take Back the Night

Louisiana Domestic Violence Fatality List, 2016

August, 2016

Click here for a Messaged from the ED on the 2016 Historic Flooding in Louisiana

Louisiana: Critical Personal Protection Legislation for Domestic ...

Domestic violence advocates push for more funds, laws - Story


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

Welcome to Iris Domestic Violence Center

February, 2018 

Words From Iris - Spring Newsletter Now Available - Things are Blooming at Iris


Click Image to View Newsletter


February, 2018 

Iris Domestic Violence Center expands Board of Directors and elects new officers for 2018


In 2017, the Iris Board of Directors sought and considered several highly qualified indivduals from diverse backgrounds and areas for selection based on the notion that building a greater cultural and demographic diversity on the board of directors was critical to the board's ability to fulfill its mission while serving a very diverse population in our seven parish service area.  Having a more diverse board of directors in age, sex, race and location provides our 2018 board with a broader range of personal attributes, qualities, talents and skills, all of which are needed to provide corporate governance and strategic oversight for the organization. 

Last year, Iris welcomed four new board members: Seth Irby, a business consultant with Emergent Method in Baton Rouge; Patti Freeman, a domestic violence unit supervisor with the EBR Parish Sheriff's office; Lt. Shona Stokes, a police lieutenant with the domestic violence unit of the Baton Rouge Police Department; and, Susakn Karimiha, international programs coordinator with the LSU Department of Agriculture. 

The Iris board has already expanded again in 2018, with the selection of three new board members: Ericka Queen, a customer service manager with Trace Security; Christen Clark, a real estate agent-buyer specialist with Keller Williams Red Stick Partners; and Veronika J. Mark, an assistant district attorney with the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's office.  All of these individuals were unanimously selected to join the Iris Board of Directors.  The three latest additions increase the Iris board to a total of 16 members charged with the responsibility of providing the organizations's long-term strategic planning and business oversight. 

In January, the board also bid "adieu" and said "goodbye" to outgoing president Melanie Fields who was retiring from the board.  Melanie provided a strong hand at the wheel as President of the board and she will be sorely missed.  Following her retirement, the board elected the following new officers for the year:


President: Jude Melville: President and CEO of Business First Bank.

Vice President: Heather Folks-Givens: Human Resources Manager for Guarantee Services, LLC.;

Secretary: Patti Freeman; Domestic Violence Unit Supervisor with the EBR Parish Sheriff's Office; 

Treasurer: Tommy Pittenger: New Client Acquistions for Malham Leverage Group.


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