Fault Lines examines the psychological toll of gun violence on children growing up in Chicago’s most dangerous and neglected communities
In 2015, there were nearly 3,000 people shot in Chicago. Much of the violence happens in poor residential neighborhoods, where thousands of children are growing up without a baseline of safety.
Early exposure to trauma and chronic stress can have severe and lasting mental and physical health consequences. Many children impacted by violence become hyper-vigilant and operate in constant “survival mode,” unable to let their guard down. If left unaddressed, the psychological shock can alter the way they learn and function—and increase the risk they will be victimized again or even perpetrate violence themselves in the future.
Fault Lines travels to Chicago to meet children and teenagers who are exposed to ongoing violence—including a few recovering from gunshot injuries and reckoning with deeper psychological wounds—to see how young people cope with living in an urban war zone.
Executive Producer: Mathieu Skene, Senior Producer: Reem Akkad @reemakkad, Hanaan Sarhan @hanaansarhan, Correspondent: Anjali Kamat @anjucomet, Producer: Lauren Rosenfeld @lollymr, Director of Photography: Joel Van Haren @joelvanharen, Editor: Adrienne Haspel @adihaspel, Production Manager: Dana Merwin @dana_merwin, Digital Producer: Nikhil Swaminathan @sw4mi, Production Assistance: Nesa Azimi @nesaazimi, Malak Habbak
More from this Episode
A hospital-based program attends to the mental health needs of youth in some of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods
Clinical psychologist Bradley Stolbach says that children growing up surrounded by violence are often traumatized
More on Impact of Violence on Kids
Students at the Montesorri School pratice yoga to help clear their minds of the violence that surrounds their lives
Four crisis counselors care for 400,000 schoolkids amid Chicago's spiraling violence, teachers' union says
To confront the effects of community violence, we must treat psychological trauma too