Gun violence in all forms, is negatively affecting the health of black women in America.
Whether it be neighborhood crime, mass shootings, or a fatal incident involving a murder committed by a police officer, black women are being traumatized by these tragedies at a rate disproportionally higher than other demographic groups.
However, police-involved violence that kills black men is taking a particular toll on the health of black women, according to a study conducted by the University of Texas at Austin (UTA). Christen Smith, a UTA sociologist wrote a news report titled, Slow death: Is the trauma of police violence killing black women?
This July 13th report was published online by an ABC News affiliate in Buffalo, New York called WKBW Channel 7. The UTA study focused on cases of black women who have lost a boyfriend, husband, father, son, uncle, or other loved one to police-involved violence.
“It is difficult to imagine the pain of witnessing and archiving the death of a loved one,” Smith wrote in her news article.
“It is even more difficult to imagine what this must be like when a police officer is pointing a gun at you in front of your four-year-old child,” she continued.
Smith was obviously referring to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black man who was gunned down by a rogue police officer hear St. Paul, Minnesota on July 6, 2016. Castile was killed in front of his girlfriend Diamond Reynolds and her four-year-old daughter.
The UTA study reported by Christen Smith detailed the health of black women who are living through ordeals similar to situations like that of Diamond Reynolds. She also wrote:
We know from the stories of black mothers who have lost their children to state violence that the lingering anguish of living in the aftermath of police violence kills black women gradually. Depression,suicide, PTSD, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating mental and physical illnesses are just some of the diseases black women develop as they try to put their lives back together after they lose a child. (WKBW.com)