Gun Violence Background and Statistics:
Gun Violence has become more prevalent in New York City and across the country. In 2020, there were 45,222 firearm-related deaths in the United States – that’s about 124 people dying from a firearm-related injury each day. (CDC 2022). In New York State, there is an average of 870 deaths by gun violence each year. (Everytown 2022).
The Problem of Gun Violence
Many New Yorkers don’t fully understand the far-reaching impact that gun violence has for survivors and their families and communities. For communities of color and, particularly young boys and men of color, many people don’t know gun violence support is available or simply aren’t offered help.
When there is an incident involving a gun, there is an effect on an entire community, not just one person. In the aftermath of a shooting incident, the family members of the person who may have been shot are all affected. Community members who heard or witnessed the shooting are impacted by the trauma of being near a shooting incident, and an individual survivor has to cope with the traumatic aftermath of being shot or shot at. Some people may experience anxiety or fear about leaving their home or walking outside because of the trauma experienced during the shooting. Sadly, often families grieve the loss of a family member murdered.
Solutions for Gun Violence
Addressing gun violence in New York City and the country involves changing mindsets of people. We all need to stop thinking this cannot happen to you or someone you care about. The statistics are clear that gun violence can impact people you know. When these incidents occur, it is important not to blame the victims of a shooting for being in the way of a bullet.
Aside from legislation and policy initiatives, people need to understand and appreciate the value of life. It is important to go beyond the idea that we could eliminate guns all together, but rather rethink how we manage conflict. At Safe Horizon we are raising awareness of the factors that contribute to the rise in gun violence. These factors include economic factors, systemic racism, and the environments in which people live.
While we support meaningful and common-sense gun reform policy, we also understand that addressing the mental health and economic issues that contribute to gun violence are also important.
Our Programs and Services for Gun Violence Victims in New York City
Safe Horizon’s mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse. We help gun violence victims, including families of people murdered by gun violence, in New York City recover from trauma while providing comprehensive services, including counseling, advocacy, and safety planning. We are available to anyone regardless of their immigration status.
Learn more about our Support Programs:
● Crime Victims Hotline
For help with all crimes, including support for family members of homicide victims, please call our Crime Victims Hotline.
● Community Programs
If you are unsure of what next steps to take, visit Safe Horizon’s Community Program offices that serve all five boroughs of New York City as they can assist in sharing your options.
● Crime Victim Assistance Program
Suppose you need guidance in communicating with law enforcement, reviewing police reports, or filing one. In that case, our Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) works with law enforcement officials to help victims of all crimes. Our CVAP advocates speak 15 languages and can access Language Line if needed. They will also work with victims who do not have legal status in the U.S.
Get in touch with one of Safe Horizon’s client advocates through our live chat online platform to receive more information on what steps to take, advocacy, and support. Our chat is available Mon – Fri : 9:AM – 6:PM ET. If you’re in need outside our live chat hours, please don’t hesitate to contact our hotlines.
● Counseling Center
The Counseling Center assists victims in healing from intense, debilitating trauma.