A Comprehensive Conceptual Program Model for Supporting Families Surviving a Homicide Victim
The homicide of a loved one is a devastating event for families. Adult and youth survivors struggle with posttraumatic stress, complicated grief, isolation, and stigma. Existing programs serving survivors of homicide victims offer needed services, but a comprehensive program is lacking. Based on an analysis of existing programs in the United States, a literature review, and the authors’ practice experience, this paper presents a comprehensive, conceptual practice model for supporting survivors of homicide victims. The program model consists of the following components: Counseling/Therapeutic Services; Case Management Services; Advocacy Services; Education/Training; Community of Survivors; and a Website/Hotline. Implications for social work practice and directions for future research are discussed.
KeywordsHomicide Survivors Co-victims PTSD Complicated grief Families
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Ahmed, F.E., & Feldman, M. (1999). Survivors for violence prevention: National policy report. Unpublished Manuscript. Boston, MA: Harvard School of Public Health, Division of Public Health Practice.Google Scholar
- Amick-McMullan, A., Kilpatrick, D. G., Veronen, L. J., & Smith, S. (1991). Family survivors of homicide victims: Theoretical perspectives and an exploratory study. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2(1), 21–35.Google Scholar
- Asaro, M. R. (2009). Working with adult homicide survivors, part II: Helping family members cope with murder. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 37, 115–124.Google Scholar
- Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2012). Uniform crime reports: Murder and non-negligent manslaughter. Released Fall 2013, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/violent-crime/murder/murdermain.
- Getzel, G. S., & Masters, R. (1984). Serving families who survive homicide victims. Social Casework: The Journal of Contemporary Social Work, 65, 138–144.Google Scholar
- Kilpatrick, D. G., Acierno, R., Saunders, B., Resnick, H., & Best, C. (2000). Risk factors for adolescent substance abuse and dependence: Data from a national sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 1–12.Google Scholar
- Kilpatrick, D. G., & Resnick, H. S. (1993). PTSD associated with exposure to criminal victimization in clinical and community populations. In J. R. Davidson & E. B. Foa (Eds.), Post-traumatic stress disorder in review: Recent research and future directions (pp. 113–143). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.Google Scholar
- Lipsey, M. W., & Derzon, J. H. (1998). Predictors of violent or serious delinquency in adolescence and early adulthood: A synthesis of longitudinal research. In R. Loeber & D. Farrington (Eds.), Serious & violent juvenile offenders: Risk factors and successful interventions (pp. 86–105). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- Murphy, S. A., Baugher, R., Lohan, J., Scheideman, J., Heerwagen, J., & Johnson, L. C. (1996). Parents’ evaluation of a perspective intervention following the sudden, violent deaths of their children. Death Studies, 20, 453–468.Google Scholar
- Overstreet, S., & Braun, B. S. (2000). Exposure to community violence and post-traumtic stress symptoms: Mediating factors. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70(2), 263–271.Google Scholar
- Rando, T. A. (1993). Treatment of complicated mourning. Chicago: Research Press.Google Scholar
- Redmond, L. M. (1989a). Surviving: When someone you loved was murdered. Clearwater, FL: Psychological Consultation and Educational Services Inc.Google Scholar
- Redmond, L. M. (1989b). Surviving when someone you love was murdered: A professionals guide to group grief therapy for families and friends of murder victims. Clearwater, FL: Psychological Consultation and Education Services Inc.Google Scholar
- Richerts, J. E., & Martinez, P. (1993). Children as victims of and witnesses to violence in a Washington, DC neighborhood. In L. Leavitt & N. Fox (Eds.), Psychological effects of war and violence on children (pp. 243–278). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associations, Inc.Google Scholar
- van Denderen, M., de Keijser, J., Kleen, M., & Boelen, P. A. (2013). Psychopathology among homicidally bereaved individuals: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 20(10), 1–11.Google Scholar