Issues for Survivors of Violence
1. Isolation, helplessness in a world that is seen as hostile and uncaring, and that frequently blames the victim.
2. Feelings of guilt for not having protected the victim.
3. The memory of a mutilated body at the morgue, how much did my loved one suffer?
4. Getting back the personal belongings of a murder victim.
5. Sensational and/or inaccurate media coverage.
6. Lack of information.
7. Endless grief.
8. Loss of ability to function on the job, at home or in school, etc.
9. The strain on marriages (frequently resulting in divorce), and the strain on family relationships.
10. Effects on health, faith and values.
11. Effects on other family members, children, friends, co-workers, etc.
12. Indifference of the community, including professionals, to the plight of survivors.
13. Society’s attitude regarding murder as a form of entertainment.
14. Financial burden of medical and funeral expenses.
15. Medical expenses for stress related illnesses and professional counseling for surviving family members.
16. Financial burden of hiring private investigators, etc.
17. Public sympathy for murderers.
18. The feeling that the murderer, if found, gets all the help; survivors of homicide victims have few rights.
19. Outrage about the leniency of the murderer’s sentence.
20. Disparities in the judicial system (frequently punishments for property crimes are as great or greater than the crime of taking a human life).
21. Anger over a plea bargain arrangement/agreement.
22. Frustration at not being allowed inside the courtroom at the time of trial
23. Unanswered questions about the crime. What happened?
24. Unanswered questions about postponements and continuous delays throughout the trial.
25. Bitterness and loss of faith in the criminal justice system.
26. After conviction, the long appeals process begins.
27. Constantly reliving your story through the dreaded parole process and media.
Joe Wamback, Founder CCVF