HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Activism » Activist Headquarters (Group) » Gun Trauma Report by Ever...

Sat May 27, 2023, 07:46 PM

Gun Trauma Report by Everytown for Gun Safety Wear Orange Weekend, June 2-4.


Beyond Measure
Gun Violence Trauma


Executive Summary

“We just learn how to cope. Trauma never goes anywhere, and healing is an ongoing process—it’s just a lifelong process.”

—A gun violence survivor

The trauma of gun violence is immeasurable. Trauma can ripple beyond communities in the same geographic environment and reverberate throughout the nation to people with shared identities like race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, and similar experiences with gun violence.

The impact of gun violence extends far beyond those killed or wounded. People may identify as survivors if they have witnessed acts of gun violence, experienced intimate partner violence with a firearm, been threatened with a gun, or had a loved one who has been shot and wounded, or killed—including by suicide with a gun.

When we think about gun violence as a public health epidemic, we often think about the numbers: Every day in the United States, 120 people are killed with guns and more than 200 are shot and wounded.1 But what are the experiences behind these metrics? How do survivors and their communities cope in the aftermath of gun violence? What are the immediate and lasting impacts of trauma from gun violence? An understanding of these questions cannot be gained with numbers alone. Far less attention has been dedicated to understanding the experiences of gun violence on survivors. For this reason, this study fills a critical gap in research by focusing on trauma from gun violence by listening to the voices and experiences of those directly impacted.

This report is divided into six sections. We discuss the aftermath of gun violence, the impacts of trauma on safety and fear, the ripple effects of gun violence and trauma in communities, support services to cope with trauma, post-traumatic growth, and recommendations to better support survivors of gun violence. We hope to honor the power of the voices of gun violence survivors by elevating their experiences, their stories, and their journeys.



America’s gun death rate is 13 times higher than that of other high-income countries.2 Every year, more than 43,000 Americans are killed with guns and approximately 76,000 more are shot and wounded.3 Everytown’s nationally representative survey shows that 59 percent of adults reported that they or someone they know or care about have experienced gun violence in their lifetime, and 41 percent of these adults say it has caused them trauma.4 This public health epidemic disproportionately impacts Black, Latinx, and other communities of color.

To better understand the breadth and depth of trauma experienced by survivors of gun violence, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund conducted focus groups5 with 103 survivors from January to March 2023. Participants had diverse identities, many of which have not been previously researched extensively, including bereaved parents, students over the age of 18, Latinx and Black communities, and LGBTQ+ people. Interview questions focused on survivors’ experiences of gun violence, the short- and long-term impacts of trauma, the ripple effects of trauma that families and communities experience, access to support services, and post-traumatic growth.

All of the survivors interviewed experienced trauma from gun violence. Trauma refers to the lasting adverse effects of an event or series of events. Living through this ordeal can change how one sees oneself and the world around them. The everyday emotional and physical responses from trauma include feelings of anxiety, fear, and hypervigilance. Despite this, some survivors experienced post-traumatic growth in their healing and recovery journey by seeing positive changes in their lives, such as personal growth and appreciation of life.

Gun violence survivors may experience multiple events of gun violence and are exposed to other events, such as intimate partner violence, community trauma, and childhood trauma. This study included 40 survivors who experienced multiple incidents of gun violence, and more than half of these survivors identified as Latinx and/or Black. The accumulation and interaction of many forms of violence, including gun violence, disproportionately impacts Black and Latinx communities, which can cause community trauma. This study highlights the urgency of preventing gun violence and interrupting cycles of violence by exploring these layers of harm.




Orange Weekend, June 2-4.
Attend Wear Orange 2023 - Find An Event


People around the country are coming together with a simple message: there's more we can do to end gun violence. Join the movement by signing up to attend an event during Wear Orange Weekend, June 2-4.

For more information about events in your area, please contact [email protected].

If you have a media inquiry or would like to cover an Orange event, please contact [email protected].



0 replies, 4110 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread