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Grief & Bereavement

  • Publications (13)
  • Resources (5)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (2)
  • Funding (1)
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Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (2016) OVC, 108 pages, NCJ 249210.
The 2016 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10 to 16, highlights this year’s theme, Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. The Guide includes user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and practical ideas to show how serving victims and building trust restores hope and strengthens communities. The Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
Abstract | PDF (English) | PDF (Spanish) | HTML (English) | HTML (Spanish)
 
2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2015) OVC, PS000030.
The 2016 NCVRW Theme Poster evokes the theme-Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—which underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery. The poster is available for download in in color or black and white and can be customized by your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22' x 28') | PDF (Black and White, 22' x 28') | PDF (Customizable, Color) | PDF (Customizable, Black and White)
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 63 pages, NCJ 239957.
The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 
Serving Survivors of Homicide Victims During Cold Case Investigations: A Guide for Developing a Law Enforcement Protocol (August 2011) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 55 pages, NCJ 236082.
Through funding from OVC, the National Sheriffs' Association, Justice Solutions, and the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., developed this publication which identifies and discusses how law enforcement agencies can develop protocols for best serving survivors of homicide during cold case investigations.
Abstract | PDF
 
What You Can Do if You Are a Victim of Crime (2010) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, BC000790.
This OVC brochure explains the rights of victims of crime and the compensation and assistance resources available to them. It also lists national organizations that help victims find information or obtain referrals.
PDF | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 

OJP Publications

What About Me? Coping With the Abduction of a Brother or Sister (May 2007) OJJDP, Report, 69 pages, NCJ 217714.
Written by siblings of children who have been abducted, this guide contains information to help and support children of all ages when their brother or sister is kidnapped. The guide provides ideas on what children can expect in terms of the feelings they may experience, the events that may occur from day to day, and the things they can do to help themselves feel better. Written in child-friendly language, it is divided into such sections as: home, family, law enforcement, the media, school and work, and holidays and anniversaries. In addition, the guide contains activity pages for children of all ages, including those who are too young to read.
Abstract | PDF 6.45 MB | HTML (By Chapter)
 

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Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On May 19 2010 at 2:00PM, Debra Culberson, advisor to NamUs, and Duane Bowers, author of "Guiding Your Family Through Loss and Grief and A Child Is Missing: Providing Support for Families of Missing Children", hosted a discussion on Assisting Families of Missing or Unidentified Persons

On Nov 5 2008 at 2:00PM, Dan Levey, President of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc, and Debra Puglisi Sharp, member of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Victims in Action, hosted a discussion on Empowering Victims to Triumph Over Tragedy

On Aug 28 2008 at 2:00PM, Bill Jenkins, author of "What To Do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss", and Janice Harris Lord, author of "I’ll Never Forget Those Words: A Practical Guide to Death Notification", hosted a discussion on Delivering Victim-Sensitive Death Notifications

On Mar 14 2007 at 2:00PM, Ms. Barbara Rubel, Executive Director of the Griefwork Center, Inc. and bereavement specialist, hosted a discussion on Best Practices for Coping With Vicarious Trauma

On Sep 7 2005 at 2:00PM, Nancy Ruhe, Executive Director of the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc, hosted a discussion on Assisting Parents of Murdered Children

Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


How can I order OVC publications and products?
Many OVC publications and products are available in hardcopy and can be ordered from the National Cr... Read More

Are there support groups for the families of homicide victims?
Family members of homicide victims can find support groups in their area by contacting Parents of Mu... Read More

More FAQs

Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


FY 2016 Self-Help Group for American Indian and Alaska Native Survivors of Homicide Facilitator’s Guide Project (PDF 179 kb)
Deadline: 06/06/2016
OVC will make one award of up to $475,000 for a qualified institution or organization to develop a comprehensive facilitator’s guide for individuals who are interested in starting a self-help support group for American Indian and Alaska Native survivors of homicide; develop and deliver a two-day training curriculum to train peers and mental health professionals on how to use the guide to start and sustain local self-help groups for the target population; and provide ongoing technical assistance to facilitators. Applicants are urged to begin in advance of the June 6, 2016, deadline.

More Funding Opportunities

Grief is an individual’s natural reaction to the loss of someone or something that holds significant meaning. Grief is not a single emotion, but rather a wide range of intense emotions accompanied by physical and behavioral reactions. Mourning is the acknowledgment and outward expression of grief and may be evidenced by social rituals such as memorial services or funerals. Bereavement refers to the period of grieving, mourning, and life adjustment following the death of a loved one.

 

Grieving is a personal experience that takes much time and energy and is often both physically and emotionally draining. When loss is sudden or violent, it may invoke traumatic reactions such as intense fear, numbness, helplessness, or horror. Grief and bereavement are often more complicated after a traumatic death, such as a homicide, and the intensity and duration of emotional reactions may be prolonged. The amount of support a grieving person receives from his or her family, friends, and community is critical to how successfully he or she will cope with grief. The following resources may help victim service providers recognize the symptoms of grief and identify coping strategies.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (2016) OVC, 108 pages, NCJ 249210. The 2016 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10 to 16, highlights this year’s theme, Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. The Guide includes user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and practical ideas to show how serving victims and building trust restores hope and strengthens communities. The Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
Abstract | PDF (English) | PDF (Spanish) | HTML (English) | HTML (Spanish)
 
2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2015) OVC, PS000030. The 2016 NCVRW Theme Poster evokes the theme-Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—which underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery. The poster is available for download in in color or black and white and can be customized by your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22' x 28') | PDF (Black and White, 22' x 28') | PDF (Customizable, Color) | PDF (Customizable, Black and White)
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 63 pages, NCJ 239957. The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 
Serving Survivors of Homicide Victims During Cold Case Investigations: A Guide for Developing a Law Enforcement Protocol (August 2011) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 55 pages, NCJ 236082. Through funding from OVC, the National Sheriffs' Association, Justice Solutions, and the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., developed this publication which identifies and discusses how law enforcement agencies can develop protocols for best serving survivors of homicide during cold case investigations.
Abstract | PDF
 
What You Can Do if You Are a Victim of Crime (2010) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, BC000790. This OVC brochure explains the rights of victims of crime and the compensation and assistance resources available to them. It also lists national organizations that help victims find information or obtain referrals.
PDF | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 

OJP Publications

What About Me? Coping With the Abduction of a Brother or Sister (May 2007) OJJDP, Report, 69 pages, NCJ 217714. Written by siblings of children who have been abducted, this guide contains information to help and support children of all ages when their brother or sister is kidnapped. The guide provides ideas on what children can expect in terms of the feelings they may experience, the events that may occur from day to day, and the things they can do to help themselves feel better. Written in child-friendly language, it is divided into such sections as: home, family, law enforcement, the media, school and work, and holidays and anniversaries. In addition, the guide contains activity pages for children of all ages, including those who are too young to read.
Abstract | PDF 6.45 MB | HTML (By Chapter)
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

9/11 Remembrance: Resources Compiled by OVC
This section of the OVC site contains a list of government and nonprofit organizations, programs, publications, and events related to September 11th and victims of terrorism. Created for the observance of the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, these resources continue to provide useful information and assistance to victim service professionals and the public.
 

Federal Resources

National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
NREPP is a searchable online registry of more than hundreds of interventions supporting mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Compassionate Friends
This nonprofit, self-help support organization offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings. TCF provides an opportunity for sharing with and learning from other grievers.
 
Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families
The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families provides support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children in grief.
 
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (POMC)
POMC provides the ongoing emotional support needed to help parents and other survivors facilitate the reconstruction of a "new life" and to promote healthy grief resolution.
 

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Web Forum Discussions

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On May 19 2010 at 2:00PM, Debra Culberson, advisor to NamUs, and Duane Bowers, author of "Guiding Your Family Through Loss and Grief and A Child Is Missing: Providing Support for Families of Missing Children", hosted a discussion on Assisting Families of Missing or Unidentified Persons

On Nov 5 2008 at 2:00PM, Dan Levey, President of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc, and Debra Puglisi Sharp, member of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Victims in Action, hosted a discussion on Empowering Victims to Triumph Over Tragedy

On Aug 28 2008 at 2:00PM, Bill Jenkins, author of "What To Do When the Police Leave: A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss", and Janice Harris Lord, author of "I’ll Never Forget Those Words: A Practical Guide to Death Notification", hosted a discussion on Delivering Victim-Sensitive Death Notifications

On Mar 14 2007 at 2:00PM, Ms. Barbara Rubel, Executive Director of the Griefwork Center, Inc. and bereavement specialist, hosted a discussion on Best Practices for Coping With Vicarious Trauma

On Sep 7 2005 at 2:00PM, Nancy Ruhe, Executive Director of the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc, hosted a discussion on Assisting Parents of Murdered Children


FAQs

How can I order OVC publications and products?
Many OVC publications and products are available in hardcopy and can be ordered from the National Cr... Read More

Are there support groups for the families of homicide victims?
Family members of homicide victims can find support groups in their area by contacting Parents of Mu... Read More

Back to Top


Funding

FY 2016 Self-Help Group for American Indian and Alaska Native Survivors of Homicide Facilitator’s Guide Project (PDF 179 kb)
Deadline: 06/06/2016
OVC will make one award of up to $475,000 for a qualified institution or organization to develop a comprehensive facilitator’s guide for individuals who are interested in starting a self-help support group for American Indian and Alaska Native survivors of homicide; develop and deliver a two-day training curriculum to train peers and mental health professionals on how to use the guide to start and sustain local self-help groups for the target population; and provide ongoing technical assistance to facilitators. Applicants are urged to begin in advance of the June 6, 2016, deadline.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)
2016 Crime Victim Law Conference
Portland, OR
06/10/2016-06/11/2016

2016 National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute
Philadelphia, PA
09/19/2016-09/21/2016

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.