Secondary Trauma Dissertation Proposal 2021



The legal protected killing of African Americans in the United States began after their arrival and was enforced by slave patrols (Hadden, 2003; Henry 1914). Slave patrols-maintained order on slave plantations by utilizing terroristic tactics such as striking psychological fear into slaves (Williams, 2015). Despite the abolishment of slavery and laws such as the 1965 Civil Rights Act, the legally protected killing of African Americans is still present to this day. This is evident by police officers killing unarmed African Americans at higher rates than other ethnicities (Kriger et al., 2015). Reports of these systematic lynching’s have been publicized in various media outlets and parallel similar tactics utilized in the past. Research studies have shown that African Americans exposed to media images of other African Americans killed by police officers produce interpersonal/intrapersonal symptoms (Secondary Trauma) similar to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Bowleg et al., 2020; Naeem, Taj, Khan, & Ayub, 2012; Williams et al., 2018).

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