Founded in 2011 in response to the need for a bereavement support program specifically for survivors of homicide by Christopher Ducharme, who is himself bereaved by homicide, The BC Victims of Homicide (BCVOH) is an initiative of the BC Bereavement Helpline that aims to provide support and strength to the families and friends of individuals who have survived the loss of a loved one by homicide. BCVOH networks with various government and non-government organizations to offer support to relatives and friends of homicide victims in the form of safe, unique 8-week guided support groups, training programs, grief retreats, and more across the province. Through our Helpline we also offer information and resources for caregivers helping victims of homicide.
Losing a loved one to homicide, whether it is a child, a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a close friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance, is an extremely difficult experience for anyone to endure. Family members, friends, and the community at large are harmed when a murder is committed. If not well supported, those who experience loss through homicide may become another casualty of crime. Through our Homicide Grief Support Groups and our Traumatic Loss Facilitator Training, BC Victims of Homicide is helping those who have lost a loved one by homicide, as well as building capacity for others to offer their own Homicide Grief Support group in their community.
HOMICIDE GRIEF SUPPORT GROUPS
Homicide is deliberately caused by another human being's actions, and results in the unnatural death of a loved one. The uniqueness of this type of death may bring about feelings such as overwhelming sadness, anger, vulnerability, lack of desire to do anything, anxiousness, irritability, inability to concentrate, numbness, confusion, sleeplessness and forgetfulness. By sharing and listening to others who have experienced a similar loss, survivors are able to connect with others who understand and have their feelings validated. Additionally, we help support group attendees in dealing with the feelings that arise when working with a police unit or the media.
SUPPORT GROUP SCHEDULE
Our next 8-week homicide grief support group will be held in Fall/Winter of 2022.
To be added to our contact list for our next group please contact the BC Bereavement Helpline 604-738-9950, toll free 1(877) 779-2223 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our homicide grief support groups provide:
- A safe, non-judgmental, compassionate environment with time for restorative sharing of stories and insights
- 8 weekly meetings in which you can meet others who share some of the same experiences
- Essential grief and mourning survival tools to help survivors in their daily lives
- Practical support and information as well as valuable community connections
- An opportunity to reconnect with the living memory of your person
- A respectful space for honouring the life of the person who has died
If you need support, please connect with a Helpline volunteer at 604-738-9950, toll free 1-877-779-2223 or by email: email@example.com.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2022: The Power of Community
Panel Discussion and Live Q&A from May 18th, 2022.
Under the theme of “Power of Community” our main event was a live panel discussion that featured five key individuals who represent the experience and support services available to BC families and communities who have experienced a homicide:
- Dr. Alana Abramson, Faculty, Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Trista McIvor, Homicide Survivor
- Dawn Armstrong and Danny Sandhu, Homicide Survivors
- Cathy Riddle, Program Manager Boundary Bay Regional Victim/Witness Program
- Jasmin Bhambra, Homicide Survivor, Grief Yoga Practitioner, Community Advocate
- Moderator: Jessica Lowe, Executive Director/BC Bereavement Helpline
During this panel discussion, conversation revolved around what the community can do to support each other in the aftermath of a homicide. Perspectives from professionals, support workers and homicide survivors shared their experiences – both good and bad – as to how community can rebound from this kind of traumatic loss instead of becoming more isolated.
The 90-minute interactive Zoom session can also be found on the victimsweek.bcbh.ca website.
"After a Homicide" Video Series
The BC Victims of Homicide has produced a series of eight videos to help explain, inform and educate individuals on the elements of the homicide investigative process. Hear directly from the police, RCMP, prosecution, victim services, homicide survivors and those involved with restorative justice their experiences in working with and supporting those who have suffered a loss by homicide.
The BC Bereavement Helpline acknowledges the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia and the following partners:
Surviving the Loss
Participants from a homicide support group held at Valley View Funeral Home discuss their experiences with homicide loss, group support, and honouring their loved ones.
The Story of BC Victims of Homicide
Testimonials from Participants
“We are not alone in our loss. Our stories are so different, but our pain and tears were the same”
“I felt very secure in telling my story and sharing more intimate details in a Homicide Support.”
“This group defined my grief and what to do to alleviate it.”
“I would recommend this group to others because I learned how others felt and how they handle their pain and I did not feel so alone.”
“I really enjoyed it and am a little sad that it’s over. I do feel more equipped to take care of myself now.”
“I felt it was valuable for all of us to learn each other’s stories and how each person handles their pain. The classes were well put together and I found that I learned more regarding P.T.S.D. and how to handle my stress better.”
“I would absolutely refer this group to others. Grief is huge and a group is bigger.”
“They [the facilitators] both came with similar life-altering traumatic experiences. It showed me that they have come this far and made it.”
Chilliwack Hospice Society - Traumatic Loss Support Group
A Traumatic Loss Grief Support Group is a safe environment where friends and family members can experience understanding, support, compassion and hope. The group is for individuals and families who have had a loved one die suddenly in ways including, but not limited to, suicide, homicide, accident, substance use, or physical illness. Our Traumatic Loss Grief Support Group meets once per week for eight sessions and is offered by Chilliwack Hospice Society throughout the year as necessary. The next group is in Feb 2022 and is open to those in and outside of Chilliwack. The group will be either online or in person, TBD.
Individuals interested in registering for this group may call Lucy at (604) 795-4660.