Aug 16, 2023 - News

Half of Louisiana adults have faced physical violence, report says

Illustration of crime tape forming an upward arrow.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Half of all Louisiana adults have experienced some kind of physical violence in their lifetimes, a new report says.

Driving the news: The Tulane University survey offers a comprehensive look at the types of violence Louisianans face and how prevalent those experiences are.

The bottom line: Researchers at Tulane's Newcomb Institute surveyed more than 1,000 Louisiana adults in May and June. The findings paint a rough picture of the state, suggesting that a fifth of adults in Louisiana have been threatened or harmed with a gun in their lifetimes.

  • 41% of Louisiana adults have experienced sexual assault or harassment, and about half reported experiencing intimate partner violence.

The survey asked about various types of violent experiences, from cyberbullying to gun violence. The results suggest these experiences have long-lasting consequences.

  • Those who reported violent instances within the past year were two to three times more likely to also report severe depression and/or anxiety.

Yes, but: Crime reports in New Orleans are on the decline for the year, according to City Hall data.

  • Armed robberies are down by 26%, and carjackings are down by more than 44%, for example, according to city data.

Reality check: The Tulane survey's numbers provide an alternate view from those reported by law enforcement because certain crimes often go unreported to authorities.

  • About 90% of respondents who experienced violence said they never made a formal report to law enforcement about the assault.

What they're saying: The survey mirrors one done in California, making Louisiana only the second state to get this specific data, per the release. Newcomb Institute executive director Anita Raj said the unique dataset can be used to inform policy.

  • "Public health efforts for violence prevention are needed, with a focus on schools and work with adolescents, given that adolescence and young adulthood is the stage where violence escalates," she said.

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