SDHI Webinar ‘Surviving Gun Violence’

It is not too late to register for the first SDHI webinar. A few places are remaining. The webinar will start at 10am (GMT, UK). All you need to take part is a working internet connection and computer access. The platform we are using also allows mobile device access if you prepare to listen and watch on your iPhone, iPad or Android device (best to download the relevant Apps).

Our first speaker to start off the SDHI webinars is Cate Buchanan, Director of the Surviving Gun Violence Project, which is supported by the Norwegian government. The project was initiated in 2011. Cate Buchanan is based in Sydney, Australia. For the past twenty years Cate Buchanan has been working on violence reduction, small arms control and women’s rights. Cate is also a consultant to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue on gender, mediation and violence reduction, and the UN Development Programme on small arms control policy development.

Over the last twenty years a significant body of work has sought to better understand the nature and extent of arms trade and gun violence across different contexts. In the last decade there has also been an increasing interest in developing effective violence prevention strategies which includes a major focus on the prevention of gun violence and reducing its negative impacts.
However, there is strikingly little information on the numbers and circumstances – physical, mental, economic, social or political – of those who survive gun violence with injuries, impairments and trauma. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “[g]lobal data on the impact of small arms on the health of individuals are far from complete. What data is available, however, suggests that hundreds of thousands of people are killed each year by those weapons. Millions more survive their injuries but are left with permanent physical disabilities and mental health problems.”[1]

Becoming impaired and disabled through an act of gun violence – intentional, self-directed or accidental – can be a profoundly traumatic experience. Such violence has an array of possible expressions and consequences: someone could become disabled after being caught in cross-fire on their way to school or work; shot and sexually violated whilst fleeing a war zone; tortured and humiliated at gun-point with no actual shot ever fired; or suffer severe impairment from a suicide attempt gone awry.

The webinar will explore why this knowledge gap exists and some of the consequences for practice and policymaking; possible contributions that social scientists and health researchers and practitioners can make on this issue and, a brief overview of the aims of the Surviving Gun Violence Project.

If you would like to join this webinar please contact:

Fred Comerford (fac1 @st-andrews.ac.uk) or Rosanne Bell (r.c.bell @dundee.ac.uk)

[1] WHO (2001), ‘Statement for the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects,’ delivered 13 July by Dr Etienne Krug.

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