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Mass Trauma and Victimization: How Can Communities Respond?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 16, 2013

Mai Fernandez, Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, is available to discuss how communities can best respond to mass trauma incidents and how victims can begin to rebuild their lives.

CONTACT: Kath Cummins
                  202.590.0837
                  kcummins@ncvc.org

Mai Fernandez on CBS/WUSA9 today: http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/254815/158/EXPERT-Victims-of-the-Boston-Blasts-Should-Speak-Out

The Boston bombings are the third mass casualty incident in America in the past year. The Aurora shooting in July, 2012, the Newtown, CT shooting of Sept of 2012, and now this incident highlight the need for comprehensive community responses to mass trauma.

Terror is a crime with multiple targets. It is a crime against individuals who are killed or who suffer life changing injuries and trauma. It is a crime against the families of these victims and witnesses, who can also suffer trauma.  

 “In the aftermath of mass casualty incidents, witnesses and those directly injured can experience any number of the following: shock, anxiety, hypervigilance and physical manifestations of stress,” said Ms. Fernandez. “They should be sensitive to changes in their behavior, their eating and sleeping habits. Most importantly, people experiencing trauma should not be alone, and may need to discuss their experience with others and seek medical and professional help in the coming months.”  

Terror is also a crime against communities: citizens who are the targets of terror feel unsafe and vulnerable and fear going about their daily lives.

Since 1985, The National Center for Victims of Crime has supported organizations on the ground who counsel victims and fight for victim compensation.  For more information about Mai Fernandez see her biography. For more information on the National Center’s work on trauma and victimization visit our website.

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The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led the nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. Visit www.VictimsofCrime.org for more information.