"Gun violence in America crosses the demographic lines of age, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and class-very few Americans have not been affected by the scourge of gun violence. Gun violence corrodes the fabric of our communities, traumatizing victims, witnesses, families, communities, and even our Nation, as recent high-profile school shootings have shown. To understand and respond effectively to violence in our society, we must build on many disciplines, including the victim assistance and criminal justice fields, health care, social services, education, and the clergy. To guide our efforts in serving victims of gun violence, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) sponsored a multidisciplinary group of national experts in March 2000 to identify key victim issues and needs, develop recommendations for using federal funds to address victims' needs, and identify promising practices to serve victims of gun violence. Not surprisingly, this bulletin indicates that some demographic groups are disproportionately victimized by gun violence and that many victims never receive needed services. And while we typically think of gun violence victims as victims of homicide, we were reminded that there are many more victims who survive their injuries, often with long-term physical and psychological disabilities. Addressing the needs of secondary victims, including children and adults who witness violence, is another challenge for practitioners, and one that we are just beginning to address systematically in the victim assistance and compensation fields. This bulletin not only outlines the many challenges before us but also describes some promising practices in communities across our Nation to serve victims and stop the violence."
U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, OVC Bulletin (July 2001)
United States Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/