For Immediate Release
December 18, 2012
Contact: Anne Nicholas, 202.467.8700, email@example.com
Washington, DC -- Families and friends of the children and teachers killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday are suffering unfathomable grief and trauma. There are no words to express our profound sadness for their loss, and our thoughts are with the entire Newtown community in the aftermath of this crime.
In the coming days and weeks, we encourage anyone affected by the senseless shooting to seek help from trained counselors and caregivers—the unsung heroes so critical to the process of healing and recovery after a crime. News of the shooting may also prompt a resurgence of grief or other reactions in survivors of previous traumatic events. Resources for coping and managing trauma in the aftermath of crime are available on our website, www.victimsofcrime.org/coping.
Because the shooter is deceased, there can be no criminal justice process, thereby short-circuiting victims’ ability both for a measure of justice and to receive services through the court system. It is therefore paramount that we do everything we can to ensure that victims have advocates who listen to their concerns and help them access the services they need, including health care, counseling, and victim compensation. A thorough investigation of the shooting should proceed, even without a criminal prosecution, so that survivors’ questions can be answered to the extent possible. Additionally, the long-term needs of the community will require planning and the mobilization of resources and experienced professionals.
We all ache for the tragedy that has befallen yet another community. But we hope in the days, weeks, and months ahead that out of these events will come real change—that the shocking, inexplicable violence that took the lives of 20 children and 7 adults will spur our citizens and politicians to come together to address the lack of adequate mental health care, the availability of weapons that go beyond personal protection, and the additional funding needed for critical victims’ services.
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.