BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Jaionna Santos’ father died Saturday after a long-term illness.
It was expected, but traumatic for Santos, who has faced loss before.
Her best friend was killed from gun violence in 2006, and her cousin was also shot and killed.
“It’s scary because now I have to do all of this and I’m traumatized,” Santos said. “It’s scary.”
For Santos, “all of this” refers to the life of being a senior in high school.
“It’s my 12th-grade year and I have to apply to schools and I want to be great,” Santos, 19, said.
When Antonio Moore addressed Baltimore City Council in October of 2019, he played a video clip of a shooting in east Baltimore.
For Moore, the sound of gunshots was the sound of trauma.
“This is not a clip from a third-world country,” Moore said. “This is actually 10 minutes away.”
When Kayla Washington addressed Baltimore City Council in September of 2019, she described how trauma affected her after her brother was shot and killed.
“After the traumatic loss of my brother, I was off with everybody and I started to make bad decisions,” Washington said.
Fifty-six percent of children in Baltimore have experienced one or more traumas, according to the Data Resource Center for Childhood and Adolescent Health.
As the deadly shootings and violence continue, Baltimore City Council is recognizing something needs to be done to help kids cope with the trauma of it all.
A new bill is seeking to turn Baltimore into a trauma-responsive city.
- Ordinance Making Baltimore ‘Trauma-Responsive’ City Passes Council’s Health Committee
- Baltimore’s Trauma-Responsive Care Act Moves One Step Closer To Becoming Law
The Baltimore City Trauma-Responsive Care Act would provide help for people who have experienced violence in an effort to stop the cycle of crime.
“We know that this is a public crisis and epidemic,” Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen said. “But we also know that what we need to solve this problem is a movement. We as a city must come together and say enough is enough.”
Since June of 2019, 11 Baltimore City Schools students have been killed from gun violence. The bill is expected to be voted on for the third and final time at the end of January.