WVUE NEW ORLEANS – Every day, someone in New Orleans is a victim of crime. Every community is affected by the violence, which affects people from all walks of life. Carjackings, armed robberies, and killings are occurring at an alarming rate in New Orleans, and the crimes can sometimes have far-reaching consequences.
Madison McLoughlin remarked, “I’ve never felt so afraid in my entire life, and I never believed I’d feel that scared.”
As she drove to work in her Bayou St. John area before daylight, she was carjacked at gunpoint. McLoughlin claims she had to relocate to another state to escape the emotional anguish she was experiencing.
“I just laid in bed, but I couldn’t sleep because this scene kept replaying in my head,” McLoughlin explained. “They disconnected me.” Three armed men emerge from the vehicle. “They’re like, ‘Put the car in park, drop everything, where are the keys?'” she explained.
To loosen the grip of dread, McLoughlin sought treatment. “I was shattered. She explained, “I was really broken.” The crime had an impact on Roy Salgado and his wife’s five-year-old son. They describe that their young son was confronted by an intruder attempting to enter their Gentilly house.
Amanda Salgado recalled, “It kind of just stopped my heart, it was a terrible, bizarre moment.” “We’re up high.” We’re eight feet in the air. We had a false feeling of security, thinking we’d be safe behind an eight-foot fence,” says Roy Salgado.
Their sense of security was shaken by the incident.
“To be honest, we don’t get as much sleep as we used to.” “We’re worried about our kids,” Roy Salgado remarked. The Salgados understand the need of therapy. Both of them are mental health counsellors.
“I work with those who have been harmed by crime. I work with survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking, as well as other heinous crimes that we all know about. And to feel the same anxiety and fear just thinking about what could have happened… all of those are very real sensations for very real threats,” Roy explained.
Salgado understands the hypocrisy of trying to fix himself while also serving others.
Dr. Holly MacKenna, a psychiatrist, says it’s a difficult situation to be in.
“Even hearing about it in sessions puts that provider in jeopardy.” “Obviously, if they’ve dealt with it before, that’s extra trauma, and then trying to help someone who is coping with trauma may simply add another layer,” MacKenna explained.
The Salgados are using the same tactics on themselves that they do on their clients as they work through their fears. They’re also changing physically. “We put up an additional gate with a lock, and we quickly bought iron doors to put up as an added layer of safety,” Roy explained.
They are, however, considering leaving their current area.
“Losing that sense of safety and trust in your fellow man can have a significant influence on how individuals see themselves, their relationships, and their community,” MacKenna explained.
MacKenna says she’s witnessing an increasing number of folks in New Orleans attempting to cope with the trauma of violent crime. According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, shootings increased by 138 percent from January to April this year. Carjackings have increased by 240 percent, while killings have increased by 128 percent. Many crime victims, according to MacKenna, show evidence of post-traumatic stress.
“I’m having trouble sleeping, I’m having trouble feeling engaged with other people, I’m feeling hyper-vigilant, like I’m always on guard,” MacKenna said.
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