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Victims of Violence and Mass Crimes

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Who are the victims of violence and mass crimes?

Acts of violence, either to an individual or in the community, leave many victims in their wake. The physical and emotional impacts of such crimes are felt by the victims, their families, the community and even the nation.

Mass violence and traumatic events can have a devastating effect on victims, their families and the community. With any traumatic event, it is important to establish a support system and, if needed, get professional help. Early intervention can help reduce the anger, pain, anxiety and other normal feelings associated with the aftermath of a traumatic event.

In California, a victim of crime can receive compensation for unpaid medical expenses, mental health treatment and counseling, funeral and burial expenses, income loss and more through the California Victims Compensation Program (CalVCP). Call 1-800-VICTIMS for your local office and information on how to file a claim.

 

Talking to Children after a Traumatic Event

If there has been a traumatic event in a child's life, to the child personally, at school, or in the community, many children will feel scared, anxious and unsure of what to do. A parent, caregiver or teacher may be the best source of comfort and reassurance to a child to help him/her understand and overcome a traumatic event.

Children cope with trauma in many different ways. While some children may feel comfortable talking about it, others may exhibit changes in behavior or appetite. Some children may act out with aggressive behaviors, while some children may withdraw.  It is crucial for caregivers to maintain a normal routine and encourage children to express their emotions through talking, play or activities. Sometimes help from a professional counselor or psychologist may be able to assist a child in dealing with a traumatic event.

Helpful links:

Understanding Child Traumatic Stress 

A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope 

Helping your children manage stress in the aftermath of a shooting 

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage (after a traumatic national event) 

 

Coping with Mass Violence

Mass violence and crimes can have devastating effects on the victims, their families and the community. Common emotional reactions after a traumatic event include: fear, sadness, anger, feelings of helplessness and guilt. Physical reactions may include: change in appetite, tension, fatigue, edginess and nausea. Most of these common reactions subside within a few days or a few weeks.* More severe reactions such as panic attacks, flashbacks, rage or extreme obsession may indicate a need to professional help from a counselor, psychologist or support group.

For local resources please call 1-800-VICTIMS.

 

Resources for victims of violence and mass crimes…

Go to the www.1800VICTIMS.org homepage to find resources in your county including Victim Assistance Centers and local law enforcement agencies.

 

You may be eligible for compensation…

The California Victim Compensation Program may be able to help victims who were injured or threatened with physical injury as the result of an attack. See the following link to find out how to apply for compensation:
http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/faq/eligibility.aspx

or contact the California Victim Compensation Program:
Phone: 1-800-777-9229
Web: http://www.vcgcb.ca.gov

 

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