Homicide Survivor Support Groups

When a loved one is murdered, family and friends often experience symptoms of trauma along with the grieving process. Homicide can be so sudden, unanticipated, and violent that it often shakes the survivors’ sense of safety, control and trust in the world around them. Intense emotional reactions are often further complicated by the involvement of the criminal justice system and sometimes the news media.

Homicide Survivor Support Groups bring friends and family of homicide victims together in regional support groups to provide healing and resources. The Network coordinates these services, including hiring trained mental health facilitators to lead each group. Primary partners are local Victim Witness Programs in each locality. The Network and Victim Witness staff educate local victim service agencies, law enforcement, and other health and human service providers to refer victims to these valuable services.

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I’ve heard from multiple participants that this group is very necessary and important and they wish that it met more than once a month. It gives people the chance to openly speak about a very sensitive topic that not everyone can relate to. The emotions involved with homicide are very complex and need special attention when it comes to processing and coping with the pain.

  • Nicole Terrell,
    Rockingham County
    Victim Witness Director