The resources available to those who plan emergency response are extensive. However, few take into account the long-term needs of victims’ families and survivors following acts of mass violence. Victims’ families often continue to experience difficulties long after the event or they may find that psychological issues will present years later.
VOICES Center of Excellence for Community Resilience, assists communities in preparing for and responding to acts of terrorism, mass violence and natural disasters. The Center promotes best practices in addressing the long-term needs of victims’ families, survivors and responders through educational forums, training programs, and scholarly research.
Through a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, VOICES authored Preparing for After, a research project that documents best practices based on the frontline experiences of those who responded to the Oklahoma City bombing, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the shootings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech and in Tucson, Arizona. Preparing for After is available for download on VOICES website.
In 2016, VOICES developed VOICES of Experience: Helping Communities Heal After Traumatic Events, a two-day training based in part on VOICES Preparing for After Resource Kit and subsequent research findings related to recent acts of mass violence and natural disasters. Funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the training assists community stakeholders in planning for and responding to traumatic events, taking into consideration the immediate, short-term and long-term requirements for recovery.