Terrorist violence not only demands immediate crisis intervention but also requires long term programming and training to begin to address the long term impacts of the event. Terrorist action is often random, unsuspected and intentional; the consequences to the individual, community and society are overwhelming feelings of fear, helplessness, anger, vulnerability and grief. Survivors have a daunting task of picking up the pieces of shattered lives. Terrorist violence affects all those touched by the trauma: the people who have experienced the event: family, friends, colleagues who are close to the person and those who have experienced terrorist violence in their past.
Survivors helping survivors support is essential, the sharing of knowledge and experiences they have gained and the coping skills they have used makes them a valuable resource. The building of networks of organizations with knowledge of trauma specific interventions, grief counselling, peer support, resilience development involving cognitive behavioural therapy and training and trauma informed care models are all required to provide the safety net under someone and those close to them who have experienced terrorist violence to begin the healing process.
There needs to be a willingness to be able to speak honestly about terrorist violence and how events can reshape lives in an instant. An acknowledgment of the devastating impact it has on an individual, community and society. An informed understanding of preparedness is required of how to better prepare for future events, how better to respond and how better to cope. A willingness to constructively learn from past events and ensure that those touched by terrorist violence feel supported at all times.
©2013 Alliance of Canadian Terror Victims