Thankfully, we became aware of SVLP via a TV Community Public Service announcement during the process of moving back to San Diego. It had been one year since our son was killed and we were in the very deep waters of grief. News of the capture of the suspect(s) came on the heels of our move, which added to the stress we were experiencing. It became a necessity for us to find a group with the specialized expertise to assist us through this difficult time. SVLP guided us through the range of emotions that would come in unexpected waves,and validated what we were experiencing as "normal." By giving us the tools we would need to rebuild our lives as a family of survivors, we have been able to focus on our loved one's life and ways in which we can bring meaning to it in our journey ahead. SVLP also gave me the opportunity to contribute as a volunteer in their organization. It is satisfying being able to do so in our son's memory. We know he would have been in favor of such an special Program whose members strive to alleviate the unique grief shared by Survivors of Violent Loss.
I attended this porgram after the death of my Father in 2000. I had never participated in any type of therapy before but knew that I needed to do something or else I would not be okay and if I wasn't okay then my family would not be okay. The 10 week session was very theraputic, being in a room with others who understand completely what it feels like when you say " I have this pain inside me that won't go away" is unmeasurable. Murder is not a topic people like to discuss or be part of, and until one is affected by this personally they cannot fully understand the magnitude this has on life. A common phrase used in SVLP is that "we are members of a club we never wanted to belong to" This is so true. I never thought that I would bond with a group of strangers so quickly or strongly. We were all in the same situation and let loose all of the emotions we had inside of us out in front of each other and it was okay. Losing someone you love in this circumstance is horrific, however with the help of SVLP it can become bearable.
I have lost several loved ones to violent loss. I attended the Survivors of Violent Loss Program small group ten week session. It was the best thing I could have done. that group helped me deal with and process my grief in a safe and caring environment. Attending the small group changed me in a very positive way as it helped me by strengthening and empowering me. The therapists at SLVP are the best. They care and give the clients support that comes from their hearts. I have gained so much from SLVP that I am now a part time volunteer for them. The work they do to help the survivors of violent loss is priceless.
I lost my 16-year-old daughter, my only child and only family, and was suicidal. We had struggled through a nasty divorce, genteel poverty and other difficulties. She was a senior who had been admitted to several Ivy League colleges and we were looking forward to a brighter future. I sought help from several different resources but none really helped until I found Survivors of Violent Loss Program. It is the only group that understands there are secondary victims and how to help us.
My husband was killed in a tragic way. I was left a widow at the age of 38 with two young children to raise. At the time I felt lost and misunderstood even though I went to counseling at that time. After researching grieff support groups, I came across the SVLP Program and their Traumatic Grieff Support Group. I scheduled an appointment and shortly after met with a counselor. It was the best thing that happened to me and my children. I participated in the group and although my situations was extremely difficult, I found that the SVLP Thearapist and the other group members understood. It was like a validation of my pain and my hope.
I sought therapy from the SVLP after the tragic loss of my father. Both the individual and group therapy assisted with helping me cope with the difficult, overwhelming emotions I was feeling at the time.
I became involved in SVLP in late 1997 after the brutal murder of my little brother. He was the only boy in a family of 5 girls. His death was devastating to us. We had never experienced such a loss and trying to figure out the justice system was like a wound that never healed. I was trying to remain strong for my mother and doing my best to maintain some sort of household for my husband and baby but every time I was alone I found myself just breaking down. When I would be alone in the car I would linger in my own thoughts. I would start to cry and just lose track of where I was supposed to go. I just couldn't function as I had before. Nothing seemed important to me. When SVLP reached out to us I jumped at the chance to speak with someone about what I was going through. Someone who completely understood and just didn't tell me that I would "get over it." After talking to them and going through the 10 week program I began to heal. I still haven't "gotten over it" but I have learned to cope with it and not let my emotions suffocate me. I continue to be part of SVLP through monthly groups, community events, and volunteer opportunities. I'm not always consistent in my involvement and they don't expect it from me but whenever I need them they are always there.
I lost my loved one to suicide in May of 2009, and the loss was very traumatic, painful, devastating. Within the first month after my loss I sought help from the Survivor Of Violent Loss Program, SLVP, through one on one therapy, complemented with their 10-week group therapy program. The helped I received from SLVP in navigating and understanding the range of extreme, painful emotions was invaluable. The support from the counselors and from other people attending the group sessions was, I believe, what prevented long term emotional problems that could have developed due to the traumatic specifics of my loss. SLVP gave me the tools and support I needed to cope with my loss, and I am forever grateful to SLVP. Their work is invaluable, professional, sympathetic, humane, and well organized. I could not have asked for better.
I went to the annual River of Remembrance in San Diego which is the first event for National Crime Victims Rights week. My daughter and grandson were murdered in July 06, and this is the first year I attended this event. I met Connie Saindon (MFT, Clinical Director, ED) at the event. She was very passionate about what she does and was so kind to all of us there remembering our lost loved ones. There is an overwhelming need in our community to have support groups that address our unique issues that come with a violent loss and this is one of those groups we need so badly. Since that event Connie has been in contact with me to let me know of upcoming events and I will do the same for her in the future. Survivors of Violent loss program is one of the groups I suggest when working with families who have suffered a violent loss.
I recommend Survivors of Violent Loss Program to anyone who has suffered a traumatic loss due to homicide, suicide or some other unexpected and violant cause of death. The people involved are dedicated to helping others develop coping strategies for living with the loss of loved ones. I cannot commend this organization too highly.