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Advocates look to stop cycle of violence by addressing its causes in Indianapolis

Posted at 9:07 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 14:15:17-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Days after gunfire killed a man outside of a Chuck E. Cheese's location in Indianapolis, community advocates are speaking out and encouraging those who witnessed the violent crime to seek help to process their emotions.

"The goal is that they will be able to find some sort of support and healing so they don't normalize that," said Brandon Randall, a longtime advocate in the Indy area. "That's how trauma perpetuates across individuals and communities because it's normalized or we're desensitized to it. We don't want that."

Randall says those needing someone to talk to can reach out to VOICES, a nonprofit that serves the community in a variety of ways.

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An overlying issue Randall says needs to be addressed are the systemic issues behind the violence happening.

"Why did it have to escalate to violence? What coping schools were lacking? What conflict resolution skills have not been established?" he asked.

A billboard campaign wrapping up highlighted many of the proven reasons people turn to violence: poverty and societal pressure among others.

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Randall and all the community partners working together know it's going to take time to undue generational trauma. He thinks everyone can play a part in it, they just have to choose to stay positive when faced with these challenging circumstances and situations.

"We all live in this city. It's not one person or one demographic or one side of town's responsibility, every person needs to get involved," Randall said. "Until people feel like they're part of this community, things won't change because people feel like it's a them problem and not an us problem. The reality is, it's a we problem and we have to find solutions."