FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      OVC

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2001                                                                        202/307-0703




WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new handbook released today by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) describes some common reactions to terrorist violence and provides practical suggestions for coping with the resulting trauma. OVC developed Coping After Terrorism: A Guide for Healing and Recovery based on input from terrorism victims as well as mental health, crisis counseling, and victim assistance professionals. 

“The raw emotions that victims of terrorism experience can be simply overwhelming,” said OVC Director John W. Gillis.  “I hope that this handbook will be a helping hand by providing information that will serve as a first step on the long road to recovery.”

  Coping After Terrorism: A Guide for Healing and Recovery outlines different types of reactions that victims of terrorism have, such as fear, guilt, anger, depression, loneliness, isolation and panic. For each of these, the handbook offers explanations as to why victims might feel that way, so that the victims can understand and cope with these emotions.  It also describes common physical symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, nausea and sleeplessness.          

The handbook stresses the importance of seeking help and finding ways to help others. It emphasizes the importance of talking with trained counselors and other victims that can provide needed support.

OVC will distribute the handbook to victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks through the International Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Justice Department’s Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Center for Mental Health Services and state victim assistance coordinators.

Copies of Coping After Terrorism: A Guide for Healing and Recovery are available through OVC’s Victims and Family Assistance Website, which can be found at or through the main OVC Website at  Copies are also available from the OVC Resource Center at


Additional information is available for victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks and their families through OVC's Family Assistance Call Center at 1-800/331‑0075. 

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