Recognizing that social connection is an important therapeutic resource for victims of mass violence and other crime victims, this Tip Sheet from the National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center provides guidance to victim service providers on ways to help victims use technology to facilitate face-to-face interactions with friends, family, and fellow victims under the conditions of social distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Curtailing social interaction is particularly detrimental for crime victims, since social isolation tends to magnify their common experiences of fear, anxiety, helplessness, frustration, and anger. Social media and technology provide means for victim service providers to connect with their clients. Phone calls are an obvious and helpful means of contact when face-to-face meetings are restricted. This may also be the only resort when clients do not use computers or are reluctant to use social media. For clients who are willing and able to use computer or cellphone technology for social contact, this tip sheet lists and briefly describes free social media apps and apps that may involve fees for use. Also suggested are the use of virtual and teleconferencing platforms provided by communities of religious faith. Other topics discussed are when to take a break from social media, the importance of using reliable sources, and safety threats that come with using communication technologies.
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