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Help for Victims

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Help for Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence

We would like to offer our deepest sympathy for the trauma you have endured and our support for your recovery during this difficult time.

If you or a family member has been a victim of an act of terrorism or mass violence occurring within the United States and are seeking help, we offer below resources.

Victim Helplines


VictimConnect is an OVC-funded service that offers confidential assistance to victims of crime. Trained specialists are available to help you locate services in your area, including mental health counseling, legal services, and more. Contact VictimConnect from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. eastern time at:

Phone or Text: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846)
Chat: https://chat.victimsofcrime.org/victim-connect
Dial 711 and VictimConnect staff can provide services through an interpreter in more than 200 languages, and to hearing- and speech-impaired individuals.

Disaster Distress Helpline

The Disaster Distress Helpline, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling.

This 24/7 toll free, multilingual, crisis support service is available to residents in the United States and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters, including incidents of mass violence. Call or text the hotline at 800-985-5990.

Victim Compensation

All states receive federal funds from OVC to help them support local victim assistance and victim compensation programs. In the aftermath of an act of terrorism or mass violence, you may be eligible for crime victim compensation benefits such as reimbursement for the cost of medical services, mental health counseling, lost wages, and other expenses incurred as a result of the crime.

Victim compensation benefits are governed by applicable state statutes, so eligibility may vary among states. Contact the compensation program located in the state where the crime occurred for more information about eligibility and the application process.

Visit the OVC’s map of state programs, and click on the state in which the crime occurred to find contact information for the program you need.

Additional Information and Resources

We at OVC will never understand the depths of your despair, but we have compiled the following list of programs and publications that may help you understand and manage your reactions to terrorism and mass violence.

Be Red Cross Ready: Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster
This fact sheet explains normal reactions to a disaster, what a survivor can do to cope with these emotions, and where to seek additional help if needed. This fact sheet is also available in a large-print edition and in ArabicChineseFrenchHaitian CreoleKoreanSpanishTagalog, and Vietnamese.

Coping With Grief After Community Violence
This fact sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence. It provides information about to how to cope with grief, and also offers tips for helping grieving children.

Coping After Terrorism for Injured Survivors
This handbook is intended to help victims understand reactions to acts of terrorism and mass violence. It also offers tips for helping victims with the coping and grieving process. 

Managing Distress: Grounding Tips for Crime Victims, Survivors and Family Members of Mass Violence Incidents
Learn about grounding and mindfulness techniques that may help with intense negative feelings.

OVC Handbook for Coping After Terrorism: A Guide to Healing and Recovery
This handbook provides victims of terrorism with information based on the expertise of mental health, crisis counseling, and victim assistance professionals. The handbook is intended to help these victims understand their reactions to an act of terrorism or mass violence.

OVC Help Series for Crime Victims: Homicide
This OVC brochure provides information on what to expect as a co-victim or survivor of homicide, where you can get help, and additional resources for information and assistance.

Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
This tip sheet contains information about grief, the grieving process, and what happens when the process is interrupted and complicated or traumatic grief occurs.

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Coping with Retraumatization
This brochure explains the signs and symptoms of retraumatization. Gives guidance on how to manage the symptoms. It provides resources for building resilience and an adequate support system for dealing with triggering events. This brochure is also available in Spanish.

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Traumatic Event: What To Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work, and Financial Life
The tip sheet suggests steps to cope with a disaster or other trauma, lists signs of the need for professional mental health and substance use assistance, and identifies resources for additional information and support. 

Twelve Self-help Tips for Coping in the Aftermath of Mass Violence Incidents
This tip sheet offers practical things that can be done to help reduce the distress caused by mass violence incidents, as well as self-help resources.

What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Crime
This brochure highlights victims' rights and compensation and assistance programs, and lists national organizations that help victims to find information or obtain referrals.

National Organizations 

The Dougy Center
This organization focuses on grief support groups for children and teens from 3 to 18 years old, and their families, who are grieving the death of a parent, sibling, or friend. Through the their website, you can access a database of centers throughout the country that provide grief support and services. The center also provides educational materials about children and grief.

National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children (POMC)
POMC is a national self-help organization for parents and other survivors. POMC provides the ongoing emotional support and promotes healthy grief resolution that parents and other survivors need to build a "new life" after experiencing the murder of a loved one.

Transcend Mobile App and Other Self-Help

Funded by OVC, this National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center mobile app provides resources and information about common reactions to mass violence and strategies for recovery. Users can access tools and activities on calming the body, managing distressing thoughts, maintaining healthy activity, coping with loss, and helping others. A “Get Help” feature offers contact information for crisis hotlines and other support services.

Learn more and download the Transcend Mobile App.

The National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center also has a page providing self-help for survivors. It addresses common trauma reactions, coping tips, guides for parents and caregivers, and other support.

Resources from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides a series of resources that may assist parents, school personnel, pediatric care providers, and others when speaking with youth and teens, including:

The NCTSN also has resources for responders on Psychological First Aid. Psychological First Aid is an early intervention to support children, adolescents, adults, and families impacted by these types of events.

Date Modified: June 13, 2023
Date Created: April 30, 2020