Silence Is Violence

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Posting December 20, 2011

Date: Fri, Jan. 06, 2012

The Victim Allies Project of SilenceIsViolence tragically gained five new client families over the past week—families who have lost loved ones to a crisis of violence that just will not let New Orleans go. One of those killed, Corey Thompson (17 yrs old), was a former student in the SilenceIsViolence Peace Clubs program at Hope Academy, then at John McDonogh Senior High School. Corey was a joyful student with great creativity and compassion for his classmates. Like so many young people in New Orleans, he was seeking his path to a positive adulthood. Instead, he was ripped from his family while still a child.

While city leaders make selective appearances at crime scenes of interest to the media, most families afflicted by the violence receive no phone calls, no hugs, and no direction from a system that is admittedly overwhelmed, but inexcusably lacking in human empathy and victim support.

Among the services offered by the Victim Allies Project, families receive emotional, logistical, and limited financial support to get through the initial trauma of their loss, as well as long-term partnership as they navigate the tortuous criminal justice process in Orleans Parish. The ultimate goal of the Victim Allies Project is to work with the law enforcement and criminal justice systems, including all of their failings, to develop more respectful and more constructive relationships with victims of violence in the New Orleans area.

Given recent and persistent increases in violent crime in our city, our caseloads are growing. If you are able to help lend support to the following families—new clients, most of whom are without insurance, official attention, or sufficient resources to address their immediate, tragedy-induced needs—please consider a donation to help them through this holiday season.

New clients, week of December 20, 2011:

Family of Corey Thompson, age 17, shot on December 16.

Family of Troy Tillman, age 9, shot on December 18.

Family of Keira Jones, age 2, shot on December 18.

Family of Wilbert Decou, age 45, stabbed on October 18.

Family Kedrick Morris, age 20, shot on October 7.

Contributions can be made at www.silenceisviolence.org or by mail: SilenceIsViolence, 2702B Chartres Street, New Orleans LA 70117. For more information about the Victim Allies Project and other SilenceIsViolence programs, please contact Executive Director Tamara Jackson (504-453-1155; tamara@silenceisviolence.org).

Thank you for your support and concern for every citizen impacted by the plague of violence in New Orleans. Our prayers and wishes for a safe holiday for all.