I think experiencing violence affects each person differently, because everyone isn’t exactly the same. Some kids will actually do it back. Other kids will just not tell anybody, stay quiet and hope that it doesn’t get any bigger. And others will tell somebody or tell everybody, to try to get the problem solved.


You’re always watching out and because you don’t feel safe
Violence in my community made me feel a lot more protective of my family and my belongings. I think if you live in a violent neighborhood you’re more likely to be more overprotective of those around you because you don’t want them to get hurt. I would always make sure my little sister is right in front of me at all times. You’re always on your tippy toes, because you’re always watching out and because you don’t feel safe.


People put on a front
People put on a front and act tougher so that they won’t experience violence or be vulnerable to violence. People have this motive to stand up for themself and watch their back and not trust anybody. It makes them feel like they have to watch their back always. And it’s not helpful because you don’t always feel at ease wherever you go.


If you want to go to an environment where you feel safe, but you don’t want to feel like you’re being talked down to, I feel like your community center’s the best place to go.


It devastated me
In Boston, my god-brother, my cousin, he was gunned down when he was around 20 years old, 7 days before his birthday. I was in my third year of college, I was about to go abroad, and I was really excited. When that happened it devastated me. I’ve experienced first-hand violence in the community, and it really tore up my god-parents. They moved to Florida. They didn’t want to live here because they were afraid, because they lost their only son, that was their only son.


Some people put a fake smile on 
Some people put a fake smile on their face to make it through the day in school, and it’s hard to notice anything’s wrong. But I know they probably go home and cry. I notice that some students are alone, and they may not be talking to anybody or they might just be sad. It’s not hard for me, I go to them and I just ask them what’s wrong. Teachers should notice these students, too.


My friend stayed quiet for a couple days. She never talked about it and she never really speaks about it still. And she really likes to talk, a lot, so she didn’t really talk, and she was quiet and she stayed by herself for a couple of days.


Make sure you’re safe
Do not wear your headphones on the street. Don’t use your phone right in front of everyone, if you don’t want them to steal it from you, or you might end up fighting them, and you going to end up getting hurt. Just make sure you’re safe. Make sure you don’t go home alone, make sure you get a ride, and don’t wear your headphones when you get off the bus. I might wear them when I’m on the bus, but when I get off, I take my headphones off and put them in my bag, so I can hear who’s behind me and be aware of my surroundings.