The Repeating Trauma of Black Gunshot Survivors

The Repeating Trauma of Black Gunshot Survivors

Photo by Alan Cleaver via Flickr You’ve seen the footage: A young Black male shooting victim lies under a sheet on a neighborhood corner, surrounded by police and EMT vehicles and curious community onlookers. It’s unlikely that subsequent media coverage will explore the life circumstances that led to his violent end. Unfortunately, his death becomes just another sad statistic. Less reported on, or understood, are stories of gunshot survivors . These are, most often, Black males between 15 and 34 living in urban areas, who frequently show up at Level I or Level II trauma centers with gunshot injuries for a second, third, or fourth time—a phenomenon known as “trauma recidivism.” “The data on trauma recidivism …. (shows) that individuals who come back to the hospital for repeat violent injury reaches up to 65 percent …. and for each time they come in, the likelihood that they’ll experience early violent mortality increases,” says Joseph B. Richardson, Jr ., lead Epidemiologist for the Center for Injury Prevention and Policy at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Joseph Richardson, Jr. “Up to 20 percent of people who come into a trauma unit for penetrative injury will die within five years.” At a March online seminar sponsored by the Center on Media, Crime, and Justice at John Jay College, Richardson also discussed a documentary he produced in November, 2020, entitled, “ After the Gunshot : A Digital Storytelling Project.” It was the first in a series on the […]

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