Peninsula/South Bay POMC, Santa Clara, California

Problems of Survivors

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Problems of Survivors


Facing the death of a loved one is never easy. When murder occurs, the anger, pain and grief are compounded by the crushing realization that another person intentionally took the life of someone precious. Adding to the family's trauma are

intrusions into their grief. Police, lawyers and other members of the criminal justice system need information, evidence and testimony. Television and newspaper reporters often focus upon the victim without consulting the family. When a suspect is apprehended, preliminary hearings, postponements, trials and sentencing all force grieving families to face what may seem to be a lack of justice. In situations where the murder is unsolved or justice is otherwise compromised, there is even greater pain and confusion.

  1. Isolation and 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, such as "What happened?"
  24. Unanswered questions about postponements and continuous delays throughout the trial.
  25. Bitterness and loss of faith in the American criminal justice system.
  26. After conviction, the long appeals process begins.
  27. Constantly reliving your story through the dreaded parole process.

       1995, National Organization Of Parents of Murdered Children, Inc.

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    OR you can reach us at our mailing address: Peninsula/South Bay POMC, 215 Liberty Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-6514 

    OR you can give us a call at 1-831-426-0874


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    Peninsula/Southbay POMC
    215 Liberty Street
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060-6514