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ACA Statement on Undue Police Violence

May 18, 2020
ACA is committed to promoting counselor competence as it relates to addressing individuals and communities who have been negatively affected by instances of undue police violence and similar racially motivated acts.

The American Counseling Association (ACA) acknowledges the traumatic impact of undue use of violence in policing, racially motivated violent incidents, and implicit bias, characterized by excessive force and negligence. Whereas, we support and value the role of positive law enforcement and ethical policing conducted daily in this occupation, the ACA condemns incidents of undue violence and stands in solidarity with the individuals, families, and communities impacted by such occurrences. Furthermore, the ACA supports the efforts of counselors who counsel and advocate on behalf of those who experienced such encounters.

Undue police violence refers to the use of excessive or disproportionate force that results in physical or psychological harm to others. These incidents may result in a post-traumatic effect that impacts the well-being of individuals and communities. Further, the historical context and trans-generational trauma associated with these incidents may have cumulative effects. While anyone can experience undue police violence, certain racial groups, particularly those identifying as Black or African American, are disproportionately affected by these traumatic occurrences and their resulting aftermath. Professional counselors are called to support affected individuals and populations through trauma-informed and culturally-responsive practice.

The ACA and its members are dedicated to supporting the human rights and wellness of all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, physical ability, age, sexual or affectional identity, religion, nationality, and socioeconomic status. Further, the ACA is committed to promoting counselor competence as it relates to addressing individuals and communities who have been negatively affected by instances of undue police violence and similar racially motivated acts. The ACA stands in solidarity with counselors who serve and support those directly and indirectly affected by instances of violent or negligent policing. Moreover, the ACA encourages its members and all counselors across various settings to engage in professional action, such as clinical practice, community outreach, research, advocacy, and education that supports the wellness of individuals and communities who face violent or negligent policing.

Journals

 Brooks, M., & Phipps, G. (Eds.). (2019). Counseling African American clients in the era of Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and media stereotypes [Special issue]. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 47(3).

 Singh, A., & Nassar, S. C. (Eds.). (2020). Integrating the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies into practice, research, and advocacy [Special issue]. Journal of Counseling & Development, 98(3). Available Online June 15, 2020.

 Books

 Lee, C. C. (2018). Counseling for social justice (3rd ed.). American Counseling Association Foundation.

 Lee, C. C. (Ed.). (2019). Multicultural issues in counseling: New approaches to diversity (5th ed.). American Counseling Association.

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