Domestic Violence


If you are a victim of domestic violence call 911 immediately. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that a person uses against an intimate or former partner. It sometimes involves parents and children and even the grandparents.

The abuser uses fear and intimidation to gain power and control over another person. The abuse can take many forms, including emotional, economic, and sexual abuse, and it may involve using children, pets, threats, intimidation, and isolation.

Domestic violence has harmed relationships for centuries and still remains a widespread problem. It affects millions of people annually, mostly women. In the United States, 1 in 4 women will be physically assaulted by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. Domestic violence affects people of all ages, ethnicities, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds, and income levels.

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Collin Sims, Chief of Criminal

St. Tammany Domestic Violence – (985) 809-8325
Washington Domestic Violence – (985) 839-6711

Email – to Attention Domestic Violence

St. Tammany Victim Assistance (985) 809-8362
Washington Victim Assistance (985) 732-9594

Violence and Control
Helping Victims through the Court System
Helpful Links



Victims of Domestic Violence confront daily struggles, dealing with mental, emotional, and physical abuse from their partners/spouses. We understand that the Criminal Justice system can be difficult for them to understand.  We hope the following information help to explain some of the terms and procedures that are common in domestic violence cases.  

The Complaint The institution of a criminal investigation begins with a complaint. The complaint may result from either a call to the police or sheriff’s office, a call to 911 Emergency, a call from a concerned neighbor or family member, or any other observation or initiation of a complaint to local law enforcement. In Washington and St. Tammany parishes, law enforcement officials (i.e. local police agencies or sheriff’s office), must investigate every complaint. Thus, a victim who calls 911 can expect a visit from local law enforcement.

The Investigation The law enforcement agency will conduct its investigation.

Arrest or Summons In the event the law enforcement agency discovers “probable cause” that a crime has occurred, officers must either make an arrest or issue a summons to the batterer. If the officer arrests the batterer, the batterer will go to jail for booking and formal processing. Depending on the charges asserted by law enforcement, a bond shall be determined by a judge. If the batterer can bond out of jail, the batterer is issued the “arraignment date” to appear in court. If a summons is issued to the batterer, the summons shall indicate the batterer’s arraignment date to appear in court. An “arraignment date” is a court appearance during which the District Attorney’s office informs a batterer/defendant of the charges filed against him/her by the State of Louisiana on the court record.

Bill of Information Following summons or arrest, the law enforcement agency will complete a report and forward same to the District Attorney’s office.  The information will be screened and evaluated as to the legal sufficiency for prosecution and the determination of formal charges.  

Trial In the event the batterer/defendant pleads not guilty at Arraignment, a Trial date is set. After the arraignment day, we will contact or attempt to contact the victim(s) and keep them informed of the proceedings and prepare for trial. For more information about how this process works, please review the Victim Assistance Program section on this website.

Updated Victim Information In the event a victim moves, relocates, disconnects their phone lines, our attempts to contact the Victim(s) may be unsuccessful. If you are a Victim or know a Victim that has moved or disconnected their phone, please contact our office, so we may maintain current and accurate Victim information.

If you are a victim and have questions, please do not hesitate to call the Domestic Violence Unit. It is our priority to protect the victims’ safety and to prevent them from feeling victimized by the legal system. Establishing a productive relationship with the victim is important to the success of our program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I am a victim of Domestic Violence?

How do I get a restraining order?

Now that I have this order of protection, am I safe?

Can you help me relocate?

What is a Restraining Order?

Links –  A Website dedicate to family violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Violence Hotline – “To provide crisis intervention, safety planning, emergency shelter, empowerment advocacy, and other supportive services to survivors of domestic, family, and dating violence.”