Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) – A national network comprised of thousands of crime victims across the county launched their first-ever healing resource fair in Peoria.
This comes almost a year after the city opened its own trauma recovery center that has become a staple. One of the River City’s own fought to secure funding for it.
“If you live in a community that is impacted by crime and violence, it completely shapes and molds your experience as a young person or a parent,” said State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria).
Gordon-Booth says violence doesn’t stop at a specific street, as families are dealing with trauma all across the city.
“Even if their parent or brother or cousin isn’t experiencing trauma and violence, they’re in a classroom with a friend who is and they’re friends are talking about that. All of a sudden they begin to carry what’s happening in communities with a level of normalcy.”
She says the normalization can color a child’s sense of direction and healing events could help turn it around. That message holds true for Tina Marie Rucker who has experienced crime up close.
“It really hit home when my nephew died. I lost him right in front of me,” said Rucker. “I was right there holding his hand and hearing him scream my name.”
Tina’s nephew Marshawn Tolliver died Monday afternoon. He was shot on August 6 in the 2900 block of North Peoria Avenue. Marshawn was the city’s 17th homicide victim this year.
“The violence needs to stop. It needs to stop. Our brothers, you know we killing each other. It needs to stop. We need to take a hand and try to help our children out here survive and grow up and prosper.”
Organizers hope this new network will help survivors get the hope and healing they need to move forward.