Survivor of London terror attack launches platform to prevent more violence

Surviving victims' accounts used in educational settings and to combat radicalisation

A survivor of the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack has launched an online platform for victims that he hopes will deter vulnerable people from extremism and build unity across the country.

Travis Frain, 23, started the Resilience in Unity Project after spending years pretending that the deadly attack on March 22, 2017 had not changed him.

He was in London on a university trip to visit the Houses of Parliament when he was struck by a car driven by Khalid Masood who went on to kill a police officer and four others.

“The sad fact is that terrorism won't be going away any time soon and there will be future attacks,” he said.

“In my mind, it's important that we build that resilience before an attack occurs. That we are ensuring the country is resilient and unified and that it has the right support in place for these people before it's even needed, because that's the way we bounce back from these issues.”

The Resilience in Unity Project features the testimonies of more than 30 survivors of terrorist attacks from 15 countries.

It also involves an interactive mapping tool exhibiting survivors' testimonies for use in educational settings, as well as in combating radicalisation.

Mr Frain, a PhD student from Lancashire, north-west England, said that stopping only one person launching an attack would make a “huge difference” to hundreds of lives.

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I was keen to feel like I had done my part to prevent other attacks in future

“If there is only one person who views this website and that one person is at risk of being radicalised — of going down that path towards committing an attack — and that person reconsiders or decides to re-engage with safeguarding and with local authorities, if all of our life stories are only viewed by that one person it will still have been worthwhile,” he said.

“Even just stopping one person from being radicalised, stopping one attack from happening, will make a massive difference to hundreds of lives.

“We too often forget the community impact that terrorism has, in dividing and reaching out along generations and networks of family members, in addition to the geographical spread.”

Injured but 'incredibly lucky'

Mr Frain was 19 when he broke his leg in the Westminster Bridge attack. Masood, 52, was shot dead by police after driving a rental car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, next to the British Parliament building.

Pc Keith Palmer, 48, US tourist Kurt Cochran, Romanian tourist Andreea Cristea and Aysha Frade and Leslie Rhodes from Britain were killed.

Mr Frain considers himself “incredibly lucky” to have survived but he said it took time to accept how he was changed by the attack.

“I was quite badly injured as were several other members of the public. We were all incredibly lucky that we all survived. That has really led me to where I am today,” he said.

“For a long time I didn't want to feel that being involved in the attack had changed me or changed my focus.

“But I think, having been through this, I was keen to feel like I had done my part to prevent other attacks in future and to improve things for people."

Updated: November 4th 2021, 5:00 PM
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