‘Aftershocks’ Series Uncovers Lasting Impacts of Chicago Gun Violence

Gun violence is on the rise in Chicago and across the country. Over the weekend, there were more than 44 separate shooting incidents in the city.

The impact of this violence is felt not only by victims, but their families and communities, too.

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The Trace, a national news organization covering gun violence in the U.S., recently published a two-part series called “Aftershocks” to uncover the trauma of surviving gun violence in Chicago.

“What we found from reporting is that of the more than 30,000 people who have been shot in the past decade, five in six of them survived,” said Lakeidra Chavis, author of the series. “It really felt like this was something missing from the reporting that we really wanted to explore in Chicago.”

In the Roseland neighborhood of Chicago, Chavis learned about organizations doing street outreach to address the shootings directly.

“I spoke to Diane Latiker, who started an organization called Kids Off The Block,” Chavis said. “About 15 years ago she turned her own home in Roseland into a community center to try to help the young people and what she saw they were experiencing either at home or in their everyday lives.”

The Roseland neighborhood of Chicago. (WTTW News)The Roseland neighborhood of Chicago. (WTTW News)

During her reporting, Chavis noticed how unbearable the grief is for survivors of gun violence and their loved ones.

“It takes a lot of resources and support for people to be able to move forward,” Chavis said.

With grief comes resilience, and the efforts community members are making to address the root causes of gun violence are ongoing.

“Even though the answers varied when I asked people to describe their community — sometimes people would say it’s horrific or it’s a village — people described it as resilient,” Chavis said. “Even if someone had heard gun shots so often that they could now tell the type of bullet that the gun was firing … they were really interested in supporting and doing the work themselves trying to make their communities better.”

Read part 2 of the “Aftershocks” series: Illinois Has a Program to Compensate Victims of Violent Crimes. Few Applicants Receive Funds.

Contact Acacia Hernandez: (773) 509-5518 | [email protected]

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