Children Enmeshed in Trauma
“Ms. Jefferson was proud of being the ‘cool auntie,’ civil rights attorney Lee Merritt told The New York Times, and was up late playing video games with her nephew the night she was killed. The two had been playing Halo when they heard a noise outside, he said. She went to the bedroom window to investigate and was shot by the police officer (The New York Times).”
I believe in Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, I do believe in God, Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ; I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in there’s a role for the church and the communion of saints. Yet, I struggle!
I struggle as I live in a society where wrongs are made to seem as justifiable rights and lies can be fashioned as truth without challenge. I struggle when our children are repeatedly exposed to trauma and expected to fully recover as if their experiences are a new norm because of their zip code or family heritage. We have studied the impact of trauma. in the well-being of children –
“Social support may help reduce depression risk, even when adolescents are exposed to violence.” Depressive symptoms, social support, and violence exposure among urban youth: A longitudinal study of resilience.
“Healing from trauma related wounds require support and protection.” Children and Trauma: A guide for Professionals
“We believe that partnering with public schools is an urgent mission for people of faith.” All Our Children National Network
The 8-year-old nephew of Atatiana “Tay” Jefferson is a victim too (https://www.huffpost.com). Trauma is a psychological wound to a child. All wounds take time to heal. Children afforded the time they need to process grief and pain because the wound created by trauma is much like what needs to happen when there’s a broken bone (Cynthia Monahon,1993). Healing from wounds require time, understanding, support and protection. In a handful of communities in the United States, violence is a traumatizing part of everyday life. And one underappreciated aspect of living in these neighborhoods, writes ABC News’ Avianne Tan, is the long-term psychological effects this sort of exposure to violence can have on children.
We pray that community members in Fort Worth, Texas and across our plethora of neighborhoods will pledge to attend to the basic needs of children and youth through crisis training as second responders.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” – Jeremiah 29:7