COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The growing number of mass shootings in America, is triggering trauma for survivors of gun violence, and their families.
“She didn’t deserve none of this, she was just trying to get her life together,” said Danielle Williams, mother of Masonique Saunders.
Williams says her daughter, Masonique Saunders, died of gun violence in Columbus earlier this year. She says the pain of that day has stuck with her and her family, especially her young children, who looked up to Masonique as their older sister.
“She enjoyed dancing, singing, being with her siblings,” said Williams.
The mass shootings are also initiating a response from children, who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence.
“Shot my teacher, and then told my teacher goodnight, and shot her in the head,” said Miah Cerrillo, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
On Wednesday, fourth grader Miah Cerrillo gave her testimony, of how she survived the mass shooting at her elementary school.
“I thought he was going to come back to the room, so I grabbed the blood, and I put it all over me,” said Cerrillo.
And her account of that experience, is something trauma experts say parents and educators need to pay attention too.
“A lot of folks that have experienced trauma, do experience sort of an emotional numbing, especially in the immediate aftermath of the situation,” said Arianna Galligher, associate director for the STAR Trauma Recovery Center at Ohio State University.
The STAR Trauma Recovery Center provides education and treatment towards those who have experienced trauma. Galligher says for young children who’ve experienced or lost someone to gun violence, the most important tool is communication.
“It’s really just best to keep those lines of communication open, and be checking in with kids, and really making sure that they have access to peer support,” said Galligher.
If you or someone you know has been affected by the recent shootings, you can visit this website for support by clicking here.