As you all know, I am a 2nd year PhD student in Social Work at Boston University. My research interests are focused on the impact of trauma and community violence in black neighborhoods, and I am specifically focusing on homicide survivors and how they one, navigate their life after the death, and two, utilize support services. As part of my PhD program, I am doing some research, and last summer, I completed a study where I interviewed black homicide survivors and key informants who deal directly with survivors (police officers, media, homicide support organization). The questions I was asking were: What is the lived experience of black homicide survivors and What is the impact of homicide on survivors and the community? This study was very successful, and I learned a lot from embarking on it. I decided to name it “No One Can Feel My Pain,” because I felt that this was a common theme amongst the survivors. They remarked on the fact that even though they know there are other survivors out there who have experienced similar things, their pain and experience is still individual and no one else can really know how they feel.
Some of the other major themes that came from this study were:
From this study, I hope to continue gathering information on the survivor experience and fill in the gaps for the things that are still not well understood. I will use this pilot study as a jumping off point for my dissertation, which I start working on this summer!
I presented this research in a special poster session at the Society for Research on Child Development conference in March in Baltimore, MD: https://www.srcd.org/meetings/biennial-meeting
I would like to thank Mary Franklin, Founder of the Women Survivors of Homicide Movement for supporting me in this study and helping with recruitment of participants. The work you are doing on behalf of homicide victims and their families will not go unnoticed.
Check out my profile on the BU SSW website: http://www.bu.edu/ssw/profile/kendall-g-johnson/
Email me if you have questions about my work or want to collaborate: firstname.lastname@example.org