Thursday, August 25, 2011

"The Trauma of Violence and Our Broken Communities"

Chicago Magazine recently ran a great piece by the producer of The Interrupters, Alex Kotlowitz, titled, "The Trauma of Violence and Our Broken Communities." The essay reflects on the trauma that communities plagued by gun violence experience, using the example of Chicago Ceasefire Violence Interrupter, Eddie Bocanegra (Eddie was one of the central characters in The Interrupters), who draws parallels between the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) his brother experienced after coming home from Iraq and the trauma he sees in those affected by violence in Chicago.
Eddie Bocanegra,
Ceasefire Violence Interrupter


Kotlowitz concludes with a stark reality check, but leaves us the hope for change and healing with the help of programs like Ceasefire. You can read the whole essay here.

"I think about the family of the six-year-old girl who was fatally shot last week while sleeping on the living room couch, and about the family of the 13-year-old-boy who was shot playing basketball. And I think of their friends. And of those who witnessed the violence, those like Vanessa and Pharoah. We make the mistake of thinking that somehow people move on, that people get numb to such brutality. But they don't. And yet outside of having someone like Eddie, there's really nowhere to turn. This is the untold story in parts of our city: communities and a people sapped of their spirit, communities and a people back on their heels."



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