UIC study to help survivors of violence

Henrika McCoy

Henrika McCoy, UIC assistant professor of social work.

A new federal grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago aims to help survivors of violence, particularly young men of color.

Under the three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, UIC researchers will study the experiences of black, male, violence victims, ages 18 to 24. Participants will be queried about the physical, emotional and financial injuries they suffered as a result of assaults, gang violence, hate crimes and other forms of violence — and the sources of support they used for coping.

“This grant allows UIC to be at the forefront of understanding an issue that makes headlines in the news almost every day — young black men being exposed to and victimized by violence,” says principal investigator Henrika McCoy, assistant professor in UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work.

At the outset, Tim Johnson, director of the Survey Research Laboratory in the UIC College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, and his team will develop and pilot-test a survey of crime victims in Chicago, Cook County and suburban and rural locations across Illinois. In the second and third years of the study, the team will make any needed adjustments and expand the survey in Chicago, as well as in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and other areas with some of the nation’s highest concentrations of blacks.

Study results will be used to guide the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crimes on how to respond to violence victims in other specialized groups and to inform Congress on the support services and funding needed to assist crime victims in their recovery.

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