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Terrorism & Mass Violence


The following publications provide information for victim assistance professionals, allied professionals, and community leaders about preparing for and responding to terrorism and mass violence.

The materials for caregivers and victims of crime focus on coping in the aftermath of event, navigating anniversaries, and talking with children and youth about terrorism and mass violence.  

Compensation Protocol: A Guide to Responding to Mass Casualty Incidents
The product of the OVC-funded Mass Casualty Protocol project, this manual examines the role of victim compensation programs during a mass casualty incident and describes a strategy for serving victims, survivors, allied victim professionals, and compensation program staff.

Coping With Disaster: Helping Children with Cognitive Disabilities
This article provides information on children dealing with disaster, in general and by age, and offers strategies to use with children with disabilities.

Effects of Traumatic Stress After Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster
This online article from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes the emotional, cognitive, physical, and interpersonal reactions that disaster survivors may experience. The article also presents information on risk and protective factors in disaster survivors.

Federal Family Assistance Plan for Aviation Disasters
This plan, designed to provide guidance when assigning responsibilities, describes how air carriers and federal agencies should respond to an aviation accident involving a significant number of passenger fatalities and/or injuries. Organizations given legal authority or responsibility should develop procedures specific to their role.

Field Manual for Mental Health and Human Service Workers in Major Disasters
This Field Manual is intended for mental health workers and other human service providers who assist survivors following a disaster. This pocket reference provides the basics of disaster mental health, with numerous specific and practical suggestions for workers.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents, Rescue Workers, and the Community Can Do
This booklet describes what rescue workers can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.

Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources
This OVC toolkit is designed to help communities prepare for and respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in the most timely, effective, and compassionate manner possible. This toolkit provides communities with the framework, strategies, and resources.

Media Coverage of Traumatic Events: Research on Effects
This article discusses the potential impact of viewing news coverage of mass violence and terrorism on adults and children. It concludes with tips on how to address stress symptoms caused by viewing traumatic events.

Mental Health Response to Mass Violence and Terrorism: A Field Guide
This booklet guides service providers and professionals in the mental health field in responding to and assisting victims and families during the aftermath of mass violence and terrorism.

Culturally Competent Crisis Response
This article discusses the importance of, and ideas for, considering culture in crisis response and offers ideas.

Preparing for the Unimaginable: How chiefs can safeguard officer mental health before and after mass casualty events
This guide highlights the importance of law enforcement mental health and offers police chiefs with lessons learned from jurisdictions that have experienced mass casualty events. The guide was produced by the National Alliance on Mental Illness with funding support from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide
Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, Psychological First Aid presents an evidence-informed approach for assisting survivors of disaster and terrorism.

Responding to Victims of Terrorism and Mass Violence Crimes: Coordination and Collaboration Between American Red Cross Workers and Crime Victim Service Providers
This booklet, jointly published by OVC and the American Red Cross, provides information on how Red Cross staff and volunteers can better assist victims of terrorism and mass violence crimes. It focuses on victims’ rights and needs, OVC resources, victim compensation and assistance, and key differences between the needs of victims of crime and victims of natural disasters.

Terrorist Attacks and Children
This article provides information on how children respond to terrorism and presents steps that professionals and parents can take to help children cope with acts of terrorism.

Tips for First Responders, 5th Edition (supporting victims with disabilities)
This booklet offers tips that first responders can use during emergencies to support and communicate with people with disabilities. The booklet is divided into sections that focus on older adults and on people with service animals, mobility impairments, autism, multiple chemical sensitivities, cognitive disabilities, and hearing or visual impairments.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
Research shows that vicarious trauma, when left unaddressed, can lead to staff burnout, turnover, stress, and a lesser quality of services for victims. This OVC toolkit offers guidance to help organizations strengthen their ability to address work-related exposure to trauma.

School Safety and Crisis: Care for the Caregivers—Tips for Families and Educators
Parents, teachers, and other caregivers play a critical role in helping children cope with crises, often ignoring their own needs in the process. This fact sheet provides tips for caregivers to care for themselves so they are able to take care of the children in their charge.

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters: What Parents, Rescue Workers, and the Community Can Do
This booklet describes what rescue workers can do to help children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
This fact sheet helps parents and teachers to recognize common reactions children of different age groups (preschool, early childhood, adolescence) experience after a disaster or traumatic event. It also offers tips on how to respond to children and adolescents in a helpful way, and when to seek support.

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 mission of the OVC-funded National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center is to improve community preparedness and the nation’s capacity to serve victims recovering from mass violence through research, planning, training, technology, and collaboration. The following resources offer information about anniversaries of traumatic events. 

Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
This resource provides tips for coping with the grieving process.

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 coping with the grieving process.

OVC Handbook for Coping After Terrorism: A Guide to Healing and Recovery
This handbook provides victims of terrorism with information about how they may feel or react. It is based on the expertise of mental health, crisis counseling, and victim assistance professionals.

Victim Toolbox: Information for Victims of Overseas Terrorism
Information compiled by the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism that may help victims and their loved ones in the aftermath of the terrorist attack. The toolbox includes information about notification, participation in foreign criminal proceedings, victims’ rights, and connecting with U.S. government partners.

Date Modified: January 31, 2024
Date Created: April 19, 2020