Chronic stress, trauma exposure, frequent threats of violence and the relentless grind of gun crimes’ impact: A recently-released report from the University of Illinois Chicago reveals in stark terms the strain and struggles that many frontline violence prevention workers face as they try to combat gun violence.
In 2022, Chicago is coming off another record year of homicides, similar to many other major cities across the U.S. 797 people were killed in 2021 with 3,677 non-fatal shootings—an increase from the 772 homicides and 3,383 non-fatal shootings in 2020. Nationally there were over 44,000 deaths as a result of gun violence and over 40,000 injuries, according to the Gun Violence Archive.
“I didn’t realize how much this job takes a toll on you,” one worker told the report’s researchers. “I was actually driving to work one day… and I had heard of nervous breakdowns, right? But man, I just started shaking and crying. I had to pull over.”
Street intervention work, which includes violence interrupters and outreach workers, focuses on interrupting the cycle of violence that has plagued many inner-city communities. These workers are members of the local community who have a certain level of credibility and can in theory foster relationships with a population that is both at-risk and very difficult to reach.
Violence interrupters are increasingly seen as an integral part of a push for more community-led policing efforts and police reform, but there is a lot of pressure that comes with that for those on the ground.
Read full article at : https://time.com/6148263/gun-v...tion-workers-trauma/