The flashing police lights and yellow crime tape are becoming a familiar scene in Louisville Metro, but what happens once the police cruisers leave and the tape is taken down?
“It's a nightmare you can't wake up from,” expressed Misty Tweedy, who lost her son to gun violence in June.
Tweedy is considered a survivor of gun violence and said the psychological trauma doesn't go away. Tweedy, along with others, wants her voice heard. That’s why dozens of these survivors are coming together to create a Violent Crime Impact Report that covers the last 15 years of violent issues that have plagued Louisville Metro.
“My youngest son is gone, and I feel guilty every day getting up and walking around. I feel guilty to even breathe,” she explained.
Her son, Jericho Moore, 18, was shot and killed in June. His body was found near an abandoned car in an alley off of Dumesnil Street.
“I miss him, if I could lay down and die for him, I would've laid down and died for him,” Tweedy said.
She’s not alone. In just 15 years, gun violence has claimed more than 1,000 lives in Louisville and injured more than 2,000 others, according to Community Activist Christopher 2X.
Kim Jarboe’s son, Andrew Elliot, 15, was also shot and killed seven years ago by someone he didn’t know.
“He was a 62-year-old man,” Jarboe explained. “He said the kids were throwing rocks, he fired two shots and one hit him in the back.”
Jarboe said she still can't handle holiday festivities during this time of year.
“My mom always tells me Christmas, that was his favorite holiday, you need to go ahead and celebrate. I haven't put up a tree since.”
Then there's Tracy Browning, a victim herself. Her scar is still visible after she was shot in the head by her boyfriend at the time in September.
“I thought I was going to die,” she said in tears. “I thought that I was not going to see my kids ever again from that moment, because they were not home and yes, I do remember thinking that this is going to be over.”
All of these women are contributing to the Violent Crime Impact Report to illustrate to policy makers the struggle that continues after trauma.
“We can't go back to work. After a while, the bills don't stop. Just certain instances where we can get some type of help,” said Jarboe.
They are hoping for some sort of change so survivors can better adjust to life after tragedy.
They're collaborating with Pegasus Institute, which is a public policy research organization, to help put the impact report in the right hands.
That report will be released December 10, 2017.
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