Gun violence prompts creation of $5K accidental death policies; "Absolutely no cost to whomever receives it"

MILWAUKEE -- It's a common occurrence in the city -- a victim of gun violence and a family with no money for burial. Just as common is the family resorting to a GoFundMe page to raise funds.

"I was meeting with Bara Legacies and I found out about a $5,000 accidental death policy. That I can give away for free," said Debra Fifer, co-founder of the group Mother's Against Gun Violence.

Debra Fifer

Fifer started Mother's Against Gun Violence after her son, Kirk Bickham Jr., and two of his friends were gunned down in 2003.

"And what I liked about the accidental death policy is that it actually covers gun shooting victims and I knew I had to talk to everyone about it," Fifer said.

An event on Friday, September 1st at the City Hall rotunda will include free $5,000 accidental death certificates given to everyone from 18 to 85. They are redeemable at the Bara Legacies office.

"It's absolutely no cost to whomever receives it. And it pays $5,000. It's only good for one year," said Cameron Summers, Bara Legacies.

Cameron Summers

Fifer knows what it is like not to have the life insurance and need it. Thankfully, when her son died, she and his father were employed -- and a cousin ran a funeral home. But many families of gun violence are not so fortunate.

"GoFundMe, I've seen them go up. Sometimes they are successful. But, sometimes they aren't," Fifer said.

Friday's event will also include post traumatic stress counseling for people impacted by gun violence.

"I know it seemed like in the beginning for me, it seemed like I was handling things very well. But actually five years later I broke down," Fifer said. "I stayed so busy, I never grieved."

Fifer is hoping to help people overcome that stress and protect themselves at the same time.