Regional Crisis Response Teams
Crime can affect anyone and knows no demographic or geographic boundaries. For victims, witnesses, and families of loved ones who have been injured or killed, life can change in an instant. These changes are often devastating and life-altering. In addition, these crimes frequently create significant anxiety, fear, panic and foster a sense of helplessness and/or powerlessness.
The Network’s seven regional Crisis Response Teams (CRTs) enhance preparedness through pre-event planning and training that ultimately results in post-event services designed to address acute needs in the aftermath of traumatic events. These services enhance resilience and help to reduce long-term complications.
Some examples of crimes that could prompt a regional response include:
- Domestic violence
- Vehicular accidents (driver is charged)
- Sexual assaults
- And other criminal events
CRT members have specialized training that is trauma-informed and is appropriate for all ages. Our CRTs are trained with skills that can help all types of demographic populations affected by traumatic crimes.
CRTs can assist a community in several ways:
- Supporting local law enforcement and victim witness offices
- Offering the opportunity for community members, victim families and victim survivors to process traumatic events and refocus on resiliency
- Providing one-on-one crisis intervention
- Advocating for families and providing assistance with the criminal justice system
- Connecting victims and families to local resources
- Assisting with memorial planning
- Assisting with filling out compensation forms and accessing services
Teams are designed to be flexible, and their skills can be utilized in a variety of situations in conjunction with allied partners for a coordinated response—whether it’s deployments for small scale, regional events, or for a statewide crisis response.
The ultimate outcome is for CRTs to help communities prepare for and respond to incidents in ways that are trauma-informed and reflect best practices to address the emotional needs of those affected.
When will a team respond?
The team will respond upon request from the public after a crime-related incident, or upon request from the State Crisis Response Team Coordinator for assistance with state responses (large scale events).
Who are the responders?
Crisis Response Team members have a minimum of 24 hours of training through the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA) Crisis Response Team training model. Most are seasoned victim service professionals with experience working with victims of crime.
Our small locally-owned restaurant is like a family. We were devastated when one of our employees was senselessly murdered in a random act of gun violence in our parking lot. We knew we needed special assistance with grief counseling for our staff and family members. We were also dealing with media inquiries, an investigation and memories of a horrid crime scene that were painful during our time of mourning. The “Angels” of The Network helped us begin the journey in the grief and healing process. Just like Florence Nightingale, the The Network Crisis Response Team members met us with compassion, kindness and resources to help us navigate the coming days, weeks and months ahead. They are unsung heroes and I’m telling all my friends and neighbors about their work to support their nonprofit efforts.
- Laura Wood Habr,
19th Street Bistro, Virginia Beach