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Victims of Senseless Violence: Poem for Family Grief

Janis is a licensed professional counselor in Washington, DC. Areas of specialty include grief, loss, life transition, and trauma recovery.

Senseless Killings Cause Children to Worry About Their Safety

Children sadly wonder about how safe they will be on any given day when they are at school.

Children sadly wonder about how safe they will be on any given day when they are at school.

The Senseless Violent Death of a Loved One

Children Happily Go Off to School and Witness Violence

Children go off to school to learn and have fun without the expectation of witnessing horrific violence.

Children go off to school to learn and have fun without the expectation of witnessing horrific violence.

"The Sacrificial Lambs of Violence"


Senseless slaughter of the innocent

In the land of life and liberty

A country of brotherly love

A melting pot of diversity and acceptance


Murder wreaks havoc in the land of plenty

Lives taken at the blink of an eye

An eye once looking far and forward

To achieving the American Dream


Violence is winning while

Young boys and innocent girls are losing

No longer free to pursue goals

Cheated by an early fate of death


The cruel sacrifice a mother makes

Losing her innocent lamb

Off to school, to the corner store,

A playground, or to a movie theater


My heart bleeds tears of sorrow

As I hear the latest news

Of another slain victim

Sacrificed, again, as violence lives on.

(JLE 2013)

Witnessing Violence Impacts Innocent Children

The eyes of innocence shine brightly before becoming dimmed by the horrors of violence.

The eyes of innocence shine brightly before becoming dimmed by the horrors of violence.

Senseless Violence in America Continues

This poem is dedicated to all the families in America who have lost someone to a senseless, violent act. Each day, our sensibilities are over and over again assaulted by the breaking news reported in the media, about the loss of another innocent fellow human being.

Whether it's a six year old child, just beginning to grasp the wonders of life, or a middle aged man snuffed out days before retirement, the losses are all tragic.

When will it stop? When will we go for one week and not hear about another domestic terror attack, school shooting, deadly robbery, or violent home invasion ending in death? Where can we feel safe?

I offer no answers to these rhetorical questions, only a word of validating comfort and a shared grief as a member of one American community. By acknowledging the pain families are experiencing across the country, a message of solidarity is sent that "you are not alone and we share your loss."

Until we find a way to teach the value of human life in the midst of our need to express anger, frustration, and disillusionment, we will remain at the mercy of violent expression that so often ends in sudden death.

In the mean time, we can embrace each other with a collective hug of compassion and prayer, for ourselves, our deceased loved ones, and for the souls of those who will continue to perpetrate senseless violence upon innocent people.

Young Victims of Violence Pray for Peace

A child prays for peace and safety amidst the violence invading his community. Safe places are no longer safe, including schools, churches, playgrounds and neighborhood streets.

A child prays for peace and safety amidst the violence invading his community. Safe places are no longer safe, including schools, churches, playgrounds and neighborhood streets.

Help for Victims and Family Members of Violence

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Janis Leslie Evans

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