NEW ORLEANS LA Jan 31 2012 – Companies are on high alert after a home health nurse was attacked while on the job in Central City this weekend.
Police said they are still looking for the group of men who dragged the nurse out of her car and sexually assaulted her.
The victim said she was attacked near the intersection of Erato and South Gayoso streets.
“We have that cloud over us now of worry,” said Sue May, of Canon Hospice, a home and inpatient hospice service.
May said the entire home health community is now on guard and is taking extra precautions for their safety. Canon Hospice is working with a security company to escort staffers in questionable neighborhoods.
“The rule that I have for my staff is if you go somewhere and don’t feel safe, leave,” May said.
Police said a gunman forced the home health nurse, who was sitting in her car outside a patient’s home on Thalia Street, to a drive around the corner, where the victim was assaulted several times.
A friend who asked to not be identified said the victim is afraid and doesn’t want to talk to anyone.
“She doesn’t want to talk to a counselor,” the friend said. “She’s afraid of being seen and of being heard.”
Dale Standifer, of the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children, said their agency helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. He said they’ve handled 150 rape cases in the metro area in 2011 alone.
Standifer said the agency’s keeps track of which area most rapes occur, though many are still left unreported.
He said they help victims understand that the rape is not their fault.
“Rape is not about sex. Rape is about hurting someone in a very specific and humiliating way. Most rapists have someone they can have consensual sex with. They just want to hurt someone in that way or show off to their friends,” Standifer said.