New report sheds light on gun violence, homicide survivors

Updated: Dec. 12, 2017 at 12:34 AM EST
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The Pegasus Institute issued its "Voices of the Survivors: Louisville Metro Violent Crime...
The Pegasus Institute issued its "Voices of the Survivors: Louisville Metro Violent Crime Impact Report" to help victims. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More than 4,000 people have been shot or killed in the Louisville Metro over the last 15 years.

But what happens when the cameras turn off and crime scene tape is thrown away?

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"As I was getting in my car, a man approached me, and hit me in the face ten times with a gun," Nicole Taylor said. "Shot me in front of my 4-year-old son."

Taylor's words were chilling as she spoke in a room of people that have felt a pain similar to her's Monday night.

"It's been very rough," she said.

Taylor is a part of a "club" no one wants to join. It's filled with survivors of homicides and shootings.

"This is not something that I would have ever dreamed of experiencing," Sherry Morris told the group.

For the first time, those experiences have been put on paper in a report conducted by the Pegasus Institute, a locally-based think tank.

After three months of interviews, the Pegasus Institute issued a report breaking down what these victims go through, touching on the mental, physical and financial hurdles.

"These are people that we need to better serve as a community," Joshua Crawford, Co-Executive Director of the Pegasus Institute, said.

The report has already been sent to state and local leaders. It's thick, and focuses on three primary recommendations they hope will be adopted at the local, state and even federal level.

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Their first recommendation is to establish and fund a victims' services unit within the Louisville Metro Police Department.

The second is to adopt a constitutional amendment guaranteeing survivors and victims the right to prior notice of all court proceedings, and require a victim impact statement at sentencing.

Third, the institute calls for a private fund dedicated to survivors for their expenses.

"They won't stop homicides," Crawford said. "They won't stop shootings. It is my hope and it is my belief that they will help improve the circumstances survivors have to live."

To view the full report, Voices of the Survivors: Louisville Metro Violent Crime Impact Reportclick or tap here.

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