Opinion Pieces  

From 3 December, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities through to 10 December, World Human Rights Day, the Surviving Gun Violence Project will be posting opinion pieces from its forthcoming book from survivors of gun violence. You can also follow this on Facebook.

During the period 3-10 December you have the opportunity to hear from:

1.      Javed Tak in Kashmir, paralysed due to gunshot wounds received in an attack by militants. Javed had no access to rehabilitation for 10 years, which increased the degree of his resulting impairment. Click to download.

2.      Louise Russo in Canada, paralysed in the crossfire of criminal violence, Louise later founded WAVE (Working Against Violence Everyday) and received an extraordinary compensation pay-out from the proceeds of crime confiscated from the gang responsible for her shooting. Click to download.

3.      Danilo in El Salvador, shot while being robbed of $10 on a bus on his way to work. Danilo now has paraplegia, but is one of the lucky few who got a place at the ISRI Rehabilitation Centre. Click to download.

4.      Michelle Fernando in Australia, whose sister murdered their father with a stolen handgun from a sports shooting club while suffering from acute mental illness. Click to download.

5.      Lomeruka Kristen in northern Uganda, whose arm was amputated due to a gun injury. A widowed mother of six children, she has had almost no support since her injury and relies on the dwindling good will of her community. Click to download.

6.      Ronnie Fakude in South Africa, paralysed from a car-jacking, and on remand in prison for over 18 months by the time the Wits Justice Project discovered his plight. Sharing a cell meant for 32 people with 88 inmates, forced to crawl to the food hall to access one meal a day, Fakude’s profile illustrates the overlooked situation of prisoners living with disability. Click to download.

7.      Vera and Wellington in Brazil, mother and son, reflecting on the crossfire injuries that paralysed Wellington at the age of 19. They discuss the struggle of caregivers, the challenges of maintaining positive mental health and the lack of access to public services. Click to download.