Vicarious Trauma: A Challenge for Many Watching Violence on Videos and News Coverage

Posted on July 11, 2016



Kenny Hardin, Salisbury City Councilman

♦ I’ve had several conversations with licensed professionals about this. The two police murders this week and the numerous ones previously can result in trauma for some.

If you continually engage in watching the videos, news coverage and trying to defend your feelings to those not impacted, it can cause you mental and emotional damage.

I have admitted to the many I’ve spoken with that the events of last week have had a profound and lasting impact on me. In response to those who felt I/we need to move on and come together without giving us/me the courtesy and respect to understand the impact, I no longer desire to have those relationships.

I’ve stopped watching the news coverage or reading anything about it. I only did it with progressive minded people. I would encourage anyone experiencing any related post traumatic stress to do the same.

I struggled over the weekend with my own thoughts and feelings, but I felt I had to be a voice of calm and reason for the many who reached out to me. I mediated and dealt with my anger while trying not to increase the anger of others, some who wanted to physically retaliate.

I’m still struggling somewhat, but I refuse to be told how to feel, what to think, and the expediency in which I’m to grieve and move on by anyone not directly impacted. I have severed a lot of long term friendships because of this. Calling for unity and encouraging us to all immediately come together minimizes the seriousness of what occurred and is an epidemic. It says you don’t have a right to be upset so move in.

People that are pushing for this don’t truly care about the issue or those affected. They only show concern because it makes them uncomfortable and may impact them financially.

I don’t think our City leaders have responded adequately, effectively or respectfully. All of that feel good, rah rah patronizing speak does nothing but appease the bought and paid for population.

There is a lack of sincerity and genuineness from the City and that’s sad. But, I had no expectations and have said publicly the thoughts and needs of the poor and people of color doesn’t matter in this City.

I have been pushing for better communication and relationships between the Black community and the SPD for the last 15 years. No one is listening.

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