Prof. Pfeifer: Psychological Trauma of Mass Shooting Must Be a Priority
October 3, 2017
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Interviewed on Maryland Public Television's Direct Connection, Heather Pfeifer, associate professor in the University of Baltimore's School of Criminal Justice, says that addressing the psychological trauma experienced by victims and witnesses of a mass shooting must be a national priority. Victims' and survivors' families, friends, and those who escaped unharmed also will require counseling and understanding, if they are to recover from an episode in which many lost their lives suddenly ad violently.
Speaking about the latest mass shooting in Las Vegas, Pfeifer says that investigators on the scene may discover that survivors can't recall important details of what happened, due to the overwhelming trauma they've experienced.
Those who survived "were there, they saw it, they lived it," Pfeifer says, "They're going to have to grapple with it in the immediate future, but also potentially long-term."
A mass shooting's lingering impact on society, she adds, is one that requires both close scrutiny and significant resources.
"How are we going to help the individuals who were directly or indirectly affected by this? How are we going to faciliate their recovery?" Pfeifer asks.
Watch the MPT interview.