The term “homicide” generally refers to those instances where one person is criminally responsible for the death of another person. Those left to deal with the aftermath of homicide are sometimes referred to as co-victims. This is a term that often refers to family and friends of the person who was killed. The time period following a homicide can be very difficult for co-victims.
Marion County Victim Assistance offers and provides services to co-victims of homicide in many ways which may include a trained victim advocate who can:
- assist with death notification to family members in a respectful and caring manner
- provide skilled crisis intervention
- be a source of comfort and support
- assist co-victims in the process of funeral arrangements by helping them fill out an application for
Crime Victims’ Compensation and facilitating collaboration with funeral home and medical examiner
- assist co-victims through the investigation and prosecution process by keeping them informed of developments and updates on their case
- ensure co-victims are aware of their rights within the criminal justice process and assisting them in exercising those rights
- introduce the deputy district attorney who will be prosecuting the case
- accompany co-victims to court hearings or trials
- provide information about grief support groups or counseling referrals
Some co-victims find it helpful to seek counseling to help them cope with the grief and trauma connected to the homicide. Many people find that until they receive intervention for the trauma they may have experienced, they can not really begin the process of grieving. In looking for a counselor it is important to find one who has training and experience working with grief and trauma. This enables the counselor to provide you with the best response to your experience and loss.
If you or someone you know is dealing with the homicide of a loved one and you need additional information or support, you are welcome to contact Victim Assistance at 503-588-5253 or toll free at 1-866-780-0960.
Resources and Information
Parents of Murdered Children - National
Parents of Murdered Children - Portland
A Grief Like No Other
Willamette Valley Hospice
The Compassionate Friends
Citizens Against Homicide
MADD - Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Crime Victim's Compensation