Friday, October 7, 2022


Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.


Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.


Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

Support for Victims of Violent Crime, Breaking Cycles of Violence


Tuesday, August 26, 2014   

CHICAGO - With more than 200 homicides already reported in Chicago this year, there are many families and surviving victims facing a difficult road of recovery.

Susan Johnson, executive director of Chicago's Citizens for Change, runs a violence survivors' network called Chicago Survivors. She says victims of violence, and their families, often live in low-income communities and have been exposed to high levels of stress and crime over time. She says they need a supportive community that shows compassion and empathy, and doesn't wrongly place the blame on them.

"The police have a role, the M.E.'s office has a role, hospital personal of course, have a role," she says. "But when we talk about having a trauma-informed city, we're talking about subtle shifts in how traumatized people are treated that contribute to their ability to recover."

Victims and families of violent crime need community resources to help them face the burden of funeral costs, legal issues, and sometimes creditors. Johnson says counseling and support groups are also beneficial in helping survivors overcome trauma and prevent risky behaviors and violence in the future.

Johnson notes that job loss, loss of a home, and the inability to complete school are also very real problems in the aftermath of violence. She says access to those resources is needed before the police tape comes down.

"We're looking at intervening at that moment to help families stay together and help them stabilize," she says. "And especially to give young people ways to process what's happened to them so that they can be resilient and return to school, while parents get back to jobs."

Chicago's Citizens for Change is working with the city to develop a protocol that police, hospitals, and social-service agencies can use to help direct victims of violent crime to available resources. She says ending the cycle of violence should be a priority of everyone in the community.

"If we only think about it as response, if we don't think about it as prevention of new violence in the future, than we're missing the big picture," says Johnson. "We need to be serving these families because we can cut down on community violence."

Johnson's Chicago Survivors' group is developing an Internet network of available services, a 24-hour telephone hotline, and trained crisis team volunteers to work with those traumatized by violence.

This story is based on reporting from a yearlong Colorlines investigation by reporter Carla Murphy in Chicago. Murphy's reporting was done in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.

get more stories like this via email

In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…

Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …

The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (


Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021