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Helping Victims of Mass Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2020
2 pages

This tip sheet from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) is provided as a resource for victim service providers in working with victims of mass violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, which may cause new symptoms of posttraumatic stress and/or increase distress already being experienced from a previous mass violence incident.


One section of the tip sheet provides guidance on sharing facts about COVID-19 with victims of previous mass violence. It recommends sharing information about the virus, including symptoms, how the virus is spread, how it is being treated, and steps underway to develop a cure. Recommended personal protective measures should be emphasized. Another section of the tip sheet focuses on potential adverse reactions that victims of mass violence may have to the pandemic, such as a worsening of distress symptoms. A third section addresses measures of victim support, including assessing medical needs and safety concerns, recommending professional help if needed, and providing information on contacts for various types of services. The concluding section advises the victim service provider on her/his own self-care and personal reliance while serving victims.