February 1-7 Marks Fifth Annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week; By Early February, More Americans are Killed With Guns Than are Killed in Other High-Income Countries in an Entire Year
Everytown Releases New Nationwide Report Illustrating the Magnitude of America’s Gun Violence Crisis, How it Impacts Survivors, and Whether Their Needs Are Being Met
NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund today marks the beginning of the fifth annual National Gun Violence Survivors Week, taking place February 1-7. By early February, more Americans are killed by gun violence than are killed in other high-income nations in an entire year. National Gun Violence Survivors Week seeks to share and amplify the stories of gun violence survivors who live every day with the agonizing and unending impact of gun violence. This year, National Gun Violence Survivors Week will be highlighting survivor changemakers who are leading efforts to end gun violence and support survivors in their communities.
In honor of National Gun Violence Survivors Week, today Everytown released a new report: “Gun Violence Survivors in America.” The report explores the prevalence of gun violence in America through the experiences of gun violence survivors, perspectives on gun violence, the impact of trauma, and support strategies to cope with trauma resulting from gun violence. The findings from the report show that 59 percent of adults in America are survivors of gun violence, either experiencing gun violence themselves or caring about someone who has experienced gun violence in their lifetimes.
“Too often, people see statistics about gun violence on the news, but don’t understand that behind each number are countless lives forever changed,” said Linda Cavazos, a District Trustee for the Clark County School Board and Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network whose brother, Louie, died by gun suicide in 1980. “National Gun Violence Survivors Week is an essential time of year for survivors as we stand hand-in-hand to share our stories and be heard and uplifted by allies who honor our perseverance as we fight for a safer nation.”
“Every hour, more and more families, friends, colleagues and neighbors become survivors of gun violence,” said Keenon James, Senior Director of the Everytown Survivor Network whose brother, Sean, was shot and killed in Takoma Park, Maryland in 1993. Sean’s murder remains unsolved 30 years later. “During National Gun Violence Survivors Week and throughout the year, we honor all survivors of gun violence, whether they’re just beginning an all-too common American experience of processing and healing from the trauma of gun violence, or like myself and countless others, have been living with an enduring pain that never goes away.”
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers will be hosting nearly 100 virtual or in-person events recognizing National Gun Violence Survivors Week, engaging survivors, community leaders, and local partners and students. Additionally, Everytown for Gun Safety will be hosting multiple community conversations about gun violence in America. Find more information here.
As today also marks the start of Black History Month, the “Gun Violence Survivors in America” report further demonstrates how Black people in the United States are devastated by gun violence at a disproportionate rate. 71 percent of Black adults in America are survivors of gun violence, and the resulting trauma reverberates through families and communities. This disproportionate impact is due to systemic inequities across institutions and generations of racial discrimination.
National Gun Violence Survivors Week arrives as the nation is still reeling from multiple mass shootings in California, including when 11 people were shot and killed and at least nine were shot and wounded in Monterey Park, and when seven people were shot and killed and one more was critically wounded in Half Moon Bay. Tragically, these shootings only scratch the surface of gun violence plaguing communities across the U.S. on a daily basis.
The centerpiece of National Gun Violence Survivors Week is Moments That Survive – a year-round digital storytelling platform on which people across the country share defining details of their gun violence experiences, in their own words. Moments That Survive builds community among gun violence survivors and helps the public understand how everyday life changes as a result of gun violence. Survivors, members of Congress, mayors and other elected officials, partners, celebrities, athletes, partner organizations and thousands of people across the country will also share survivors’ stories via social media throughout the week using #GVSurvivorsWeek.