Effects of mass violence under spotlight

by Mike Addelman

An internationally renowned group of experts are to examine how the appalling effects of mass violence play out in the months and years after they have been perpetrated.

Event organiser Professor Dave Gadd from The University of Manchester says social scientists have much work to do to if we are to understand more fully the impact of events like the 2011 massacre of 77 people by Anders Brevik in Norway.

Sponsored by The Hallsworth Conference Fund, the The University of Manchester conference on 30 June to 2 July hosts experts from Manchester, Cape Town, Vancouver, Linkoping, Oslo, and Delaware.

The will discuss subjects ranging from the Falklands war, the Brevik massacre, state violence in South Africa and the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders in Connecticut.

Professor Gadd is Director of the Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. He said: "Over the last few years the phenomenon of mass lethal violence in otherwise peaceful contexts has hardly left the headlines.

"The 2011 Anders Brevik massacre of 77 people at a youth camp organized by Norway's labour party and the 2012 shooting of 12 people by James Holmes in a cinema are recent examples.

"A month after Holmes, Wade Michael Page, shot six people dead in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and in December 2012 Adam Lanza killed 20 children and seven adults including his mother, in what became known as the 'Newtown shootings'."

He added: "Though President Barack Obama and others have asked for some soul searching, as risk becoming the norm in the US, have said little about these events.

"A lot is said about 'why they did it' but not enough about how violence was responded to in its aftermath.

"These incidents' aftermath often determine whether retribution follows, the trauma endures, or whether loss is ultimately mourned, some form of justice attained, and/or a lasting peace prevails.

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