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Research Brief: Homicide Co-Victimization

NCJ Number
Sara Bastomski; Marina Duane
Date Published
July 2018
4 pages

This report summarizes facts on the prevalence of persons ("co-victims") who have lost a family member or friend to homicide, the harms and consequences they experience from the homicide, the nature and availability of services for co-victims, and areas where this domain of victim services needs to improve.


This report indicates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans will lose a loved one to homicide during their lifetime. Black and Latino individuals are more likely to be co-victims, and they also face more barriers to support services. Although police and court personnel can assist co-victims, lengthy investigations and trials may cause further ("secondary") trauma. Few services specifically address the distinctive needs of homicide co-victims, and such services are rarely evaluated; however, a group therapy program has shown promise in improving co-victims' psychological well-being. "Wrap-around" services are recommended for addressing their needs in navigating the media and criminal justice elements of their cases, along with evaluations to determine their effectiveness. 11 references