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Serving Survivors of Homicide Victims

Requester/Organization Supported: Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan

Type & Dates: Four webinars, January 25–28, 2021

Description: The Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan requested two consultants to deliver a series of webinars on serving survivors of homicide. The training request focused on providing system-based victim advocates and prosecutors with the skills to support families, friends, and others affected by homicide. This included a discussion of the ways in which participants could support survivors of homicide victims and assist them in incorporating their loss into their life.

Implementation: The training consisted of four 2-hour webinars that took place over 4 days. The webinars explained how to prepare and support a survivor through the legal system and trial process and described how to assist survivors over the long term following notification of a homicide. The consultants taught participants how to make a compassionate death notification and provide appropriate interventions following notification.

Results: Following the training, participants demonstrated a greater understanding of the emotional and psychological responses to homicide, how to identify stressors, and strategies for victim service providers to cope with stress and build resilience. Participants noted that the consultants were engaging, knowledgeable, and provided a unique perspective of the training content. The requesting agency also reported that multiple attendees have since expressed appreciation of the structure of the training itself. Specifically, the virtual format and session timing worked well for participants' roles and schedules with minimal impact on their existing workload.