NEW ORLEANS — Police chief Shaun Ferguson says the NOPD wants to deter crime like armed robbery and carjacking on the front end before crime takes place.
However, he points to the volume of domestic violence calls into NOPD as another area of importance the department has to focus its resources on. According to police, just last year there were over 12,000 calls made to the NOPD for issues of domestic violence alone.
Adrienna Winfrey says her work as a domestic violence advocate is an around the clock labor of love.
When she’s not seeing clients, Winfrey takes the time to pack small kits for women who she says finally work up the courage to leave abuse in the home.
“It may not be in a violent situation at that time, but opportunity presents itself and you just have to leave right then in there,” says Winfrey.
Winfrey says she started the organization Arin’s Nest to reach out to provide help to other victims.
“Did I go through a hellafied domestic violence situation? Yes, I did. Do I wish I had an Arin’s Nest? Yes I did.
Winfrey says recently there has been in influx of people coming to her for support.
She believes it’s because not enough attention is being paid to domestic abuse victims.
“Sometimes you have to go through so much to prove that you need the help. It’s bad enough you’re dealing with mental, emotional, financial stressful issues especially with dealing with children,” said Winfrey.
She says it’s a cause and effect when looking at the amount of domestic violence in New Orleans with the rise in youth crime we are seeing around the city.
“[Kids] get an attitude like they really don’t care. So, when you see violence in the home, to go out and do it on the streets and it’s an understood situation, it’s a comfortable situation. You getting hurt from home (then) somebody gone feel you that day and that’s their mentality.”
Which is why she knew more had to be done.
Winfrey started a weekend class called “Helping our Parents” in hopes to bring clarity to the question “What about the parents?”
Winfrey says many of the parents are 16, the grandparents are in their 30s and the great grandparents are slightly in their 40s. So, it’s not the same dynamic as it was before and the resources are not readily available.
One of those parents who is currently a client of Arin’s Nest says she is thankful for everything Winfrey has done and continues to do for domestic violence victims.
“It gives people strength,” she said. “I found strength through her.”
A driving motivation for Winfrey to never give up.
“It makes me feel like the work that I am doing is needed,” said Winfrey. “It’s purposeful. Feels like someone out there needs me. I feel like [people] really need someone to help them. Because if I give up, who are they going to have?”
Winfrey says she will continue to help as many women as possible as they come her way.
You can learn more about her organization at www.arinsnestingplace.org