'Summer of Healing' aims to equip people with ways to avoid dangerous situations amidst uptick in violence

NOW: ’Summer of Healing’ aims to equip people with ways to avoid dangerous situations amidst uptick in violence

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In light of further violence across the city, local activists are looking to equip members of our community with ways to defend themselves.

Milwaukee police said there's been over 460 non-fatal shootings so far this year, over a hundred more than last year so far, part of why community activists said they want to get people thinking about how to protect themselves.

It's all part of 'A Summer of Healing Against Gender-Based Violence'.

"We really want to prepare the community as first responders to violence, so this is focused definitely on domestic violence, sexual assault if people can maneuver themselves out of unsafe situations so that's what we're trying to do," said Milwaukee Health Department Family Injury and Violence Prevention Manager Karin Tyler.

Tyler was one of many out in Sherman park at the 'Summer of Healing' event Saturday.

During the event, another non-fatal shooting involving a 16 year old happened just minutes away.

Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention director Arnitta Holliman said that's part of why what they're doing is critical.

"And so we've got instructors here that are doing some classes, some demonstration, because we think it's important for people not only to feel safe but also have the tools they need to protect themselves," said Holliman.

Amber Tucker, a martial artist and college professor who taught easy self-defense strategies Saturday, said the easiest thing you can do is stay alert of your surroundings.

"Even when I'm in the grocery store, I'm always, not out of panic or fear or anything like that I just always am consciously kind of registering okay there's a person to the right of me there's a person to the left of me," explained Tucker.

414Life Outreach Supervisor Stephen Hopkins said he hopes people coming to the events learn something that sticks.

"I hope the people that are attending it, they actually get a lesson, something that can actually save their life if they're in the wrong kind of situation

The Summer of Healing campaign events continue later this Summer, with an event on August 21st and September 18th.

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