How To Help The London Victims, Even From Across The Pond
It was already a busy news day in the United States when reports of tragedy came from across the pond — there was a brutal attack in London when a car plowed through a crowd on Westminster Bridge and a suspect subsequently left the vehicle and stabbed an officer near Parliament. With reports that there are now four people dead and as many as 20 injured, there are many ways you can help the London victims, even if you reside across the pond in the United States.
Given the suddenness of this attack, there aren't yet any crowdfunding campaigns set up for the victims, and those looking to donate money should do their research once donation opportunities begin cropping up so as to avoid charity crowdfunding scams. For now, one of the biggest way to help the victims is to try to remain calm and keep in mind that breaking news is often flawed. We know at this time that the alleged attacker who fatally stabbed the police officer near Parliament is dead, but we must keep in mind that people can be wrongfully accused during the confusion and panic of attacks.
Beyond remaining calm, there are others ways you can meaningfully help the London victims.
Be Conscientious On Social Media
As someone who lost a family member in the last terror attack in London, I implore you - don't share images of victims.— Hayley Stewart ✨🦁 (@curvesncurlsuk) March 22, 2017
Knowing that there are victims of an attack — and even knowing their names — is one major way we humanize and deal with the gravity of any attack. But sharing gory photos of victims is not only triggering to people who have experienced the effects of these sorts of attacks, but also disrespectful to those close to the victims. Being conscientious about what we share on social media is always a wise idea, but is even more essential in times like this, when panic can cause us to share things we likely wouldn't if we took a moment to consider how our posts may be taken.
Look Into Terror Victim Resources
While there are still no widely-circulated donation campaigns for the London victims, the United Nations has an excellent resource portal for terror victims that includes directories of aid organizations throughout the world.
Exercise Media Literacy
WNYC's On The Media has an excellent primer on how to remain media literate in light of alleged terror attacks like this one. Understanding the way media reports operate during tragic breaking news events like this is an important measure audiences can take in sussing out what's actually going on so they can better assist victims of these sorts of atrocious attacks.
Don't Allow Victims To Become Fodder For Islamophobia
It's difficult to think of anything more offensive to victims of terror attacks than to use them to further a bigoted agenda against a marginalized and attacked group. Regardless of what information comes out about the attackers' religion or ethnicities, resisting Islamophobia during terrorist attacks doesn't just stop more people from becoming victims of bigotry — it also is one of the best ways to truly honor the families of the dead and the lives of the injured.
The London attack doesn't just hurt the 24 dead or injured — it affects their families, their communities, and the nation and world at large. There are so many ideological and monetary ways to help victims of this attack that truly honor the injuries and lives lost from such inhumanity.