gun violence

‘Don't Become Like Your Friends': Docuseries Focuses on 10 Men Who Survived Gun Violence in DC

NBC Universal, Inc.

A YouTube docuseries profiling 10 men who survived gun violence in D.C. will be released later this month. 

Joseph Richardson, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland has gotten hundreds of victims "to talk about it" as part of a program at Prince George’s Hospital Center to gain a wider understanding of the cost of violence and its lingering effects.

“Survive. Don’t become like your friends or associates,” said one victim, remembering what was running through his mind. 

The goal of the study was to to qualitatively understand how young Black male survivors of violent firearm-related injuries treated at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Trauma Center coped with their recovery, specifically the traumatic stress associated with gun violence and violent injury.

Executive Producer Che Bullock and Richardson have developed a documentary, “Life After the Gunshot”, looking to reach even more young men at risk before the violence.

“If we don't catch them at that particular moment, we might lose them forever,” Bullock said. 

Richardson said he sees it as a roadmap to stopping the violence. The District ranks No. 1 in the country with the highest rate of firearm homicides, according to the The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Among the hundreds of young men they’ve seen, 10 of whom are featured in the documentary, only one has been back in trouble.

“We want to make the services culturally tailored for young Black men to address the stigma and then include people who look like them," Richardson said. “We need more people in our communities that are trained in mental health first aid.”

"Life After the Gunshot" premieres on YouTube on March 31.

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