By Cecilia Bianco, June 08 2015
In 2013, New York made history as the first state to devote an entire month to raising awareness around the issue of gun violence. This month marks the third annual Gun Violence Awareness Month and there are many ways to support this important effort.
Gun violence has increasingly become a prominent nationwide problem that is impacting our young people, families and communities:
“With more than 25% of children witnessing an act of violence in their homes, schools, or community over the past year, and more than 5% witnessing a shooting, it becomes not just an issue of gun regulation, but also of addressing the impact on those who have been traumatized by such violence.”
Because of this, community groups are urging youth and families to get involved. Co-Chair of Gun Violence Awareness Month Erica Ford said in a recent interview, “it’s about banding the community together to take a stand.”
The goals of Gun Violence Awareness Month include:
- Bring citizens and community leaders together to discuss how to make our communities healthier
- Promote great awareness about gun violence and gun safety
- Concentrate heightened attention to gun violence during the summer—a time when gun violence typically increases
Throughout the month, there will be marches, rallies and youth-engagement events to gather communities together.
Additionally, communities are encouraged to celebrate National ASK Day on June 21 by bringing attention to the risks of kids having unsafe access to guns and by pledging to ask whether there is an unlocked gun in the homes where your children play. Learn how you can be a part of it, by visiting AskingSavesKids.org and downloading the Asking Saves Kids Toolkit!
For more information about how to engage your community and its youth, visit the website dedicated to Gun Violence Awareness Month, which is filled with resources, an events calendar, and all the ways you can get involved.
Updated: June 08 2015