When Violence Hits Home: Kyle's Story

In response to reports of escalating violence in the Chicagoland area, the Governors State University community felt an urgent need to act. In 2012 when the Respond to Violence initiative began, almost 224 Chicago area residents had been killed by gun violence, more than in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2018, based on the Chicago Police Department's statistics, the number rose to more than 550, with shooting victims totaling almost 3,000.  The Medical community, as reported in University of Pennsylvania study, has noticed a distinct rise in asthma attacks in children impacted by violence. In Chicago, a city already first in the nation with this disease, emergency rooms have also detected a distinct rise in asthma attacks on week-ends when violence is most prevalent. The reason: children are under extreme stress from the violence plaguing their neighborhoods, families and schools. Many young people live in fear, often showing signs of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) as they struggle to navigate urban war zones. In an effort to assist our community in facing this crisis, GSU established an across-discipline team to explore ideas and solutions. Respond to Violence is the result of this collaboration.

We are a group of educators, students, community and civic leaders, people concerned about all aspects of violence and its prevention. This site is designed to be a welcoming space for ideas and to give voice to those impacted by violence. 

Click on the drop down menu topics for more information about our initiative. For further information you can contact us through our Civic Engagement and Community Service Center.  

Watch:   Respond to Violence  PSA

Watch: NBC Chicago's Making a Difference: Respond to Violence