Organizing Support for Victims and Survivors

Civic actions that make victims, survivors and the larger community feel safe and supported are crucial steps towards recovery. It is important to offer reassurance, restore morale and unity, and organize victim services through the long process of medical recovery, emotional trauma and court cases.

In the days, weeks, and months after a mass violence incident it is crucial that the community and its leaders organize services and offer support for victims, survivors, and their families. Resources and support that is easily accessible will help to facilitate the recovery process and restore morale and unity.

Wondering where to start?

Collaboration among local government officials, law enforcement agencies and victim assistance professionals is something that should be planned and established prior to the occurrence of an incident. Victims and survivors will not receive the support they need if the major entities in the community are not implementing a comprehensive plan and practicing open communication.

The following tip sheets can help you better understand the type of support victims and survivors of mass violence incidents will need in the hours, days and weeks after it occurs.

Tip sheets

Guidelines for Family Assistance Centers

Family assistance centers streamline the process of family reunification and death notifications, and provide access to other immediate services that are crucial in the recovery process. This tip sheet is a comprehensive guide for community leaders and law enforcement officials who are tasked with organizing a family assistance center following a mass violence incident.

What Community Leaders can do to Support Victims and Survivors

Provides a high-level overview of services and support that community leaders can provide to victims and survivors of a mass violence event, and emphasizes the importance of mobilizing trained victim assistance professionals and establishing a full-service family assistance center.

NMVVRC logo image consisting of dark-colored simplied shape of a person with their hands raised surrounded by lighter colored, randomly sized, simple leaf shapes all in the overall shape of a heart.

Role of VSPs Readiness, Response, Recovery and Resilience Matrix

A matrix outlining how Victim Service Providers can provide assistance when preparing for a mass violence incident, as well as responding to and recovering from one.

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of Justice

Mass Fatality Incident Family Assistance Operations

Recommended strategies for local and state agencies when coordinating family assistance operations following a mass fatality incident.

Read This

Resiliency Center Victim/Survivor Assistance Navigator Position Description


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