Co-victims of Gun Violence: How Black Women Navigate Spaces of Trauma
|This dissertation examines how relatives of gun-violence victims, specifically Black women, move about their environments in the aftermath of sudden and tragic loss. I explore the following research questions: 1) How do Black women, who are co-victims of gun homicide, navigate spaces of trauma? 2) How does the experience of trauma extend into other spaces and spatialities of their lives? 3) What are the social, political, and health implications for Black women with limited mobility who are co-victims of gun homicide? This study draws on a literature synthesis on health geographies, geotrauma, and Black Feminist Geographies, as well as auto-methods, specifically a Black Feminist auto-ethnography (BFA). BFA involves analyzing your own experiences in relation to others in their family and community. My autoethnography of my lived experiences in the neighborhood I grew up in started with the observation of my mother in the aftermath of losing my brother to gun violence in 2012. My dissertation develops a research agenda to theorize how racism, poverty, and trauma compound and how Black women craft survival strategies as they navigate landscapes of trauma. I describe the ways that conventional approaches to understanding gun violence can overlook the layers of trauma and fail to capture the nuances or lived experience of being a co-victim of gun violence. I propose BFA to center and understand the lived experience of co-victims of gun violence and to bear witness to the ways we engage with the world around us while processing the trauma that is carried with us. My autoethnography uncovers key strategies my mother and I used to cope with our loss, especially in the face of institutional failures from the policy. This research points towards a need for better mental health resources for co-victims of gun violence as they process their grief.
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|Theses and Dissertations
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|Black feminist autoethnography
|Co-victims of Gun Violence: How Black Women Navigate Spaces of Trauma
|Gilbert, Melissa R.
|Hayes-Conroy, Allison, 1981-
|Levine, Judith Adrienne, 1965-
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