Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Cape Mayor Bob Fox establishes Gun Violence Survivors Week

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Photo by Brooke Holford

Cape Girardeau will observe this week as Gun Violence Survivors Week after a proclamation by Mayor Bob Fox.

“By commemorating Gun Violence Survivors Week from Feb. 1 through 8, cities across America will raise awareness about gun violence, and honor the lives stolen by gun violence,” Fox said. “We will renew our commitment to prevent gun violence.”

Fox was joined by gun violence prevention group SEMO Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in making this announcement during Monday’s meeting of the Cape Girardeau City Council.

Moms Demand Action announced they will be hosting a donation drive to benefit the Safe House for Women for the first two weeks of February in observance of Gun Violence Survivors Week. The group is asking for donations of personal care items to benefit domestic violence survivors served by the Safe House.

The group said the donation drive to the Safe House for Women is especially important as it can impact those whose lives are affected by gun violence.

Moms Demand Action Survivor Membership Lead Leslie Washington is a survivor of domestic violence involving gun violence.

Washington said in addition to surviving domestic violence, she experienced the loss of two cousins. One of those loved ones died by suicide involving a firearm, while the other died by homicide in which the suspect was never caught.

“It’s just very important to get that knowledge and awareness out, so people can be aware and know what steps to do, and just get involved, so another family doesn’t have to go through not having the closure after losing a loved one,” Washington said.

Both Fox and Moms Demand Action emphasized the importance of awareness in preventing gun violence.

Donations for the Safe House for Women may be dropped off at locations in Cape Girardeau, including The Bank of Missouri, The Corner Store and Southeast HealthPoint. Moms Demand Action is asking for personal care items, including soap, shampoo and paper products.

Cape Girardeau has seen multiple incidents involving gun violence in the past months, including shootings that took the life of a 19-year-old in late January and a 15-year-old in August. Discussion of these incidents, as well as possible formation of a task force addressing this problem, took place during the Monday meeting.