Lesson 6
Survivors of Homicide Victims

Background

     Homicide is a crime with more than one victim. Nothing can ever prepare survivors for the day they are suddenly told their loved one has been murdered. Survivors suffer the shock of the sudden loss of their loved one and anger that the loved one did not have to die. Murder crushes survivors' trust in the world and their belief in social order and justice.

    Many survivors of homicide victims say that the most traumatic event of their lives was when they were notified of the death. One of the most difficult duties a law enforcement officer must perform is providing notification to the family of murdered victims. An inappropriate notification can prolong survivors' grieving process and delay their recovery from the crime for years. Proper notification by you can restore some of the survivors' trust and beliefs and help them to begin a new life.

Tips for Responding to Survivors of Homicide Victims