SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Caddo- Bossier Domestic Violence Task Force held its annual Trey Hutchison memorial awards banquet on Wednesday, which recognizes criminal justice experts who go above and beyond to support families impacted by domestic violence.

Guest speaker Kris Barney shared her story during her keynote address at the annual Trey Hutchison memorial awards banquet and wore a butterfly in memory of her three-year-old daughter.

“When she was killed, she was transformed. When she was killed, I was transformed,” she says.

Barney says her ex-husband murdered her little girl and abused her for years.

“It was very difficult for me to convince police officers or even attorneys that I was being abused because I didn’t have any bruises or physical marks on my body,” Barney said. “So, it was very difficult to understand that verbal, and mental, and emotional abuse is domestic violence.”

Assistant district attorney Britney Green, the Chief of Domestic Violence in the Special Victim’s Unit at the Caddo District Attorney’s office, was honored on Wednesday for her work in the special victim’s unit

She says domestic violence spiked during the height of the pandemic.  

“We saw more serious injuries because the eyes of the community were not on the victim,” says Green. “People weren’t going to work, children weren’t going to school. We were kind of like hibernating quarantine and didn’t get a chance to see each other.”

Some signs to look for if you suspect someone may be the victim of domestic violence are isolation, withdrawal, changes in their mood, attitude, or appearance.

Experts say ask if they are safe or need someone to talk to. But most importantly, let them know there are resources to help.