GUN VIOLENCE SURVIVORS MOBILIZE TO SUPPORT VICTIMS AND FAMILIES
The Gun Violence Survivors Network Advisory Committee (GVSNAC) is a new group of survivors and advocates who will facilitate and advise government agencies and community-based organizations on services available for families or victims of gun violence.
NEW YORK—The Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence (OPGV) announced the launch of the Gun Violence Survivors Network Advisory Committee (GVSNAC), a group of survivors and advocates who will help families and victims navigate services as well as advise City government and nonprofit partners on working with those living through the trauma of violence.
“A single shot can set off a chain-reaction of trauma that ripples from the victim, to loved ones to community members. Attempting to navigate services can be difficult and even exacerbate a life-changing trauma. Working with families and survivors of gun violence to improve services is consistent with our belief that people with lived experience are essential to making the entire system work better,” said Eric Cumberbatch, the Director of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence.
“We are grateful to the survivors who we work with every day for their leadership, courage and insights that have led to the Gun Violence Survivors Network Advisory Committee. We believe this partnership with survivors, advocates and neighborhood residents will be a breakthrough in how, as a city, we meaningfully address the trauma of gun violence and provide the persistent and complete support that is so essential to our path forward,” said Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.
The Network will be guided by a seven-member advisory committee consisting of three people selected by OPGV and four additional survivors of gun violence chosen through an application process. Gun violence survivors include victims of gun violence as well as families who lost loved ones.
“We decided that now is the time for us to speak for ourselves and other survivors who have been directly impacted by gun violence,” said Shenee Johnson, Member of the Gun Violence Survivors Network Advisory Committee.
The Advisory Committee will meet on a monthly basis and discuss issues facing gun violence survivors, identify gaps in existing services, and meet with and formulate recommendations to share with city agency partners and community-based organizations. Resources such as conference room space and inter-agency coordination will be provided by the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence.
People interested in being a part of the Advisory Committee can visit nyc.gov/peacenyc and fill out the online application.
“Today’s announcement of the Gun Violence Survivors Network Advisory Committee recognizes the need to address the long-term impacts that gun violence has on individuals and their families. I’m proud that this Advisory Committee will consist of survivors and advocates who will work together in a holistic way to develop ideas and approaches to help families navigate resources to deal with the emotional trauma of gun violence. It’s important to include the voices of survivors and other stakeholders and I applaud the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence for leading this effort and bringing together this Advisory Committee to provide the most effective resources and services for survivors and families,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
“This initiative strengthens the linkages between gun violence survivors and the programs and services they need. When we elevate the voices of survivors, we all gain from their perspective – better informing government and better informing policy. Alongside the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence and the City Council, countless New Yorkers will benefit from the work of this new initiative,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
“I appreciate the Mayor’s effort to work with the community in creating a stakeholders group that will advise city agencies and community-based organizations on ways to support families and victims of gun violence. As we know, violence often occurs in communities that are marginalized and lack supportive resources. The Mayor’s Gun Violence Survivors Network’s Advisory Committee should create the opportunity for victims of gun violence to get involved in a meaningful way by helping other victims of gun violence. I also see this advisory group as an opportunity for the Mayor to work with victims of gun violence in developing a multi-faceted approach to surviving, managing, and combating gun-violence by incorporating their ideas within his initiatives, such as the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety. I am eager to examine how this new committee will make a difference, especially for neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel.