Seeing Trauma Behind the Headlines


This week’s blog is written by Dion McGill, SCY Communications and Community Outreach Manager.

If you’re anything like me, when you think of Halloween, you think of the basics: spookiness, youth in costumes trick-or-treating, Halloween parties…and candy!  Copious amounts of candy.  Perhaps you like to watch scary movies.  This year, we set a record for the snowiest Halloween ever, which all but guaranteed I would spend the evening on the couch with Netflix.

I watched Sherlock Holmes if you were wondering.

What many of us don’t expect to hear, or experience, is the shooting of a youth while she is out engaged in one of the aforementioned activities.  Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here in our fair city, as breaking news emerged of a 7-year-old girl being shot while trick-or-treating in the Little Village neighborhood.

As so many questions swirled around the event, even more disheartening was the news that a 15-year-old was being charged with attempted murder in the shooting.

As our Executive Director, Rebecca Levin, mentioned in her letter this past week in our newsletter (you should go here to sign up for the newsletter if you’re not already on our list), the tragic shooting of an exceptionally young youth is made all the more tragic because it may have been committed by another young person.

“Hurt People Hurt People”

It’s a refrain that you hear often when working in the violence prevention spectrum.  As we learn more about the effects of trauma and adverse childhood experiences on adolescents, we know that the aformentioned statement is exceptionally true.

As Rebecca went on to say,

“Exposure to trauma for these young people as well as others across Chicago, can play a large role in the cycle of violence. Both of these individuals deserve better and SCY will continue to work with partners to help provide those opportunities.”

Here is a short informational from on how trauma can play role in the cycle of violence.

Additionally and coincidentally, SCY will be having a training on November 13, 2019 on Grappling with the Impact of Trauma: Building Resilience of Youth. Unfortunately, as I type this, the training is already filled to capacity with a growing waitlist.  However, I encourage you to look at the amazing work being done by the Center for Childhood Resilience, our colleagues here at Lurie Children’s who will be facilitating the upcoming training.

We are constantly striving to do our best to help make Chicago the most amazing city it can be.  Part of that is breaking the cycles of violence and trauma whenever possible, and as “Becky” mentioned, working with partners to help provide whatever opportunities necessary in the process.

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