Parents Of Murdered Children Inc. is a national organization providing ongoing emotional support for parents, immediate family members and other survivors to help them build a new life and to promote a healthy resolution.
Contact: National Office at 888-818-POMC or www.pomc.com to learn about a nearby chapter.
The organization, which has two chapters in Virginia, provides a list of feelings that survivors experience, including:
* Isolation and helplessness in a world that frequently blames the victim.
* Guilt for not having protected the victim.
* Endless grief.
* Inability to function on the job.
* Murderer, if found, is afforded all the help, while survivors have few rights.
* Bitterness and loss of faith in the American criminal justice system.
* Outrage over the murder’s sentence.
* Frustration at not being allowed inside the courtroom at the time of the trial.
Other problems that survivors encounter are:
* Sensational and/or inaccurate media coverage.
* Lack of information.
* Medical expenses for stress-related illnesses and professional counseling for surviving family members.
* Constant reliving of the act through the parole process.
Reaction to Crisis, although reaction varies from one person to another.
* Shock and confusion
* Focus on survivor’s personal loss
* Horror over the probable suffering the victim experienced
* Consumed with the need to know every detail
* Panic attacks
* Fixed on maintaining day-to-day routine
* Restlessness and insomnia
* Flashbacks to when parent learned of the tragedy
* Revisiting imagined crime
* Fear for one’s own life and of loved ones
* Self-blame for not preventing the murder
* Hostility toward others because the child is gone
* Ideas of suicide, not being able to imagine going on without the child.
* Feeling as if watching yourself from a distance
It’s difficult for survivors to know when any of these feelings will predominate.