Mothers In Charge: Survivors Will Heal
Kansas City Mothers In Charge
In response to the overwhelming numbers of non-fatal shooting victims in Kansas City—which ballooned to 631 in 2020—Survivors Will Heal was developed in 2021 to provide a critical and much needed response for these victims.
While clergy or mental health service providers may assist these victims, KC MIC offers community-based intervention and bridges the gap between law enforcement, victims of shootings and neighborhood residents to prevent future acts of violence. After a victim, aged 17 or older, has experienced a shooting, KC MIC provides trauma-informed crisis intervention and support to victims and their family members, explaining police procedures and helping manage grief, hostility, confusion and anger.
Shooting victims receive information about KC MIC services, victims’ rights, Crime Victims’ Compensation, the investigation process, and safety planning. They also have access to the Survivors Will Heal support group, which provides an educational portion to the session, as well as an opportunity for group sharing on a more emotional level.
KC Mothers In Charge • 3200 Wayne Street. • Kansas City, MO 64109
816-912-2601 • kcmothersincharge.org
2022 COMBAT Funding: $100,000.00
In KC Mothers In Charger's Own Words
In response to the overwhelming numbers of non-fatal shooting victims in Kansas City—a number that ballooned to 631 in 2020—Survivors Will Heal was developed by KC Mothers in Charge in 2021 to provide a critical and much needed response for non-fatal shooting victims.
While clergy or mental health service providers may assist these victims, KC MIC offers community-based intervention and bridges the gap between law enforcement, victims of shootings and neighborhood residents to prevent future acts of violence and make communities safer.
Crisis Intervention, Support Group & More
After a victim, aged 17 or older, has experienced a shooting, KC MIC provides trauma-informed crisis intervention and support to victims and family members, explaining police procedures and helping manage grief, hostility, confusion and anger. Shooting victims receive information about KC MIC services, victims’ rights, Crime Victims’ Compensation, the investigation process, and safety planning, including what to do if they are threatened, intimidated, stalked or experience other dangers. They also have access to the Survivors Will Heal support group, which provides an educational portion to the session, as well as an opportunity for group sharing on a more emotional level.
Planned education programs include KC MIC licensed therapists addressing trauma and the emotional aspects of victimization, plus those with other professionals covering conflict resolution and anger management to help them heal and develop resiliency. Also planned is another shooting victim describing his or her healing journey. It is expected that many of these survivors will be younger and will experience special challenges related to their victimization, which will further increase the need for individual and family counseling services.
KC MIC’s professional counseling services are available to all victims of violence, free of charge.
For seven years, KC Mothers in Charge has worked to victims of violent crime, most of whom were members of underserved communities. It is an area of concern that is all-too-familiar for the organization, which was established following the murder of Founder and Program Director Rosilyn Temple’s son, Antonio Thompson, in 2011.
It is also an area of concern that has continued to worsen over time. KCMO’s violent crime rate of 7,308 per 100,000 people in 2019 was nearly four times the national crime rate and three times the Missouri rate. To date in 2021, there have been 103 homicides and at the current rate, it is projected that the number of homicides will exceed those in 2019 and perhaps equal 2020. Additionally, and relatedly, in KCMO, there were 491 non-fatal shootings in 2019, and 631 in 2020 (representing a 28% increase over the prior year), and 241 in the first half of 2021. (KCPD Crime Statistics).
Based on KC MIC’s continued service to homicide victims’ families and historical victim service numbers, as well as on new outreach strategies designed to support non-fatal shooting victims, KC MIC estimates serving 300 unduplicated survivors of homicide, and a range of 80 to 100 victims of non-fatal shootings during the next calendar year.
The Black community of Kansas City is disproportionately victimized by homicide and violent crime and homicide. Since 2014, approximately 72% of Kansas City’s homicide victims were black, and 61% were black males (KCPD Daily Homicide Analysis).
Victimization is also concentrated by age. In 2019, Black males 18-21 experienced a homicide rate of 477 per 100,000 residents, and Black males 22-29 experienced a homicide rate of 384/100,000. This is 16 times and 13 times higher than the city homicide victimization rate, respectively. Although estimates of the racial characteristics of non-fatal shooting victims in Kansas City are not available, research in other midwestern cities indicates victim characteristics are similar to homicide victims (Hipple et al., 2020).
It is clear that homicide and non-fatal shootings disproportionately victimize young Black men. Families of homicide victims and those directly impacted by violenc—mothers, grandmothers, sisters, spouses, and partners—are disproportionately Black women. Kansas City law enforcement and Kansas City residents desperately need to restore mutual trust to work collaboratively to stem the tide of violence. The need for a relatable Kansas City law enforcement and Kansas City residents desperately need to restore mutual trust to work collaboratively to stem the tide of violence.
The need for a relatable grassroots community voice to help bridge the gap between victims of violence, neighborhood residents, and law enforcement is crucial. KC MIC, an already-active, highly visible and trusted resource in the Black community for several years, is in position to provide a critical need for shooting survivors to receive trauma-informed care and healing. Just as homicide victims’ survivors need someone with whom they can connect to help them through the complex process of healing, shooting survivors (particularly, those who live in high-crime areas) need connections to healthy relationships and support systems as they cope and navigate complex emotions including terror, guilt, stigmatization, fear, anger, thoughts of retaliation, and traumatic stress (Amick-McMullan et al., 1989; Amick-McMullan et al., 1991; Sharpe et al., 2013; Spungen, 1998).
Quite often, secondary trauma is experienced by those living in neighborhoods with high rates of shootings, resulting in negative health behaviors (Semenza and Stansfield, 2021).
These mental health needs typically require not only trauma-informed crisis intervention, but a range of appropriately evidence-based therapeutic modalities. KC MIC addresses the needs through support services, including trauma-informed crisis intervention and support, emergency/direct assistance, professional counseling, and peer support groups. Because many of the shooting victims who live in underserved, high-crime areas do not feel comfortable accessing traditional mental health systems, KC MIC uses a nonbureaucratic, non-threatening approach: hosting events with speakers or activities that break down barriers and allow those experiencing the pain of victimization to more comfortably reach out to one other on a social level, and then on a more emotional level.
VICTIM SUPPORT PROGRAMS
These are the agencies that have a COMBAT-funded program with a victim support emphasis or component. The services provided include supporting the surviving family members of homicide victims and counseling services available to gunshot wound survivors.
AdHoc Group Against Crime
» Caring For Crime Survivors
Centers for Conflict Resolution
» Reducing Compound Trauma In Hot Spots
Community Services League
» Independence STRIVIN' Initiative
Hope House, Inc.
» Hope House's Targeted Domestic Violence Program
KC Mothers In Charge
» Survivors Will Heal
Truman Medical Center
» Project RISE