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About Us

VictimsFirst is a network of surviving victims of mass casualty crime and trusted supporters who have first-hand experiences of the problems and re-victimization that accompany these acts when there is a lack of coordinated effort and/or understanding of what survivors need. In 2021, we officially applied to become a 501(c)(3) to better serve victims of mass casualty crimes. We work pro bono.

We are also a member of the Advancing Bereavement Care Coalition (ABCC), which represents millions of bereaved Americans and frontline practitioners across the nation. Collectively, these organizations have expertise supporting and advocating on behalf of bereaved individuals, including those who need bereavement leave due to pregnancy, stillbirth, child, sibling, spousal or parent loss.

What We Do

  • VictimsFirst provides direct assistance to victims/survivors of mass casualty crimes, including mass shootings.

  • We provide direct emergency financial assistance for immediate, mid-term, and long-term needs out of our General Victims Fund, where 100% goes directly to victims/survivors.

  • We also help to secure other resources that victims/survivors need, including mental health, medical, and accessibility resources.

  • We often initiate a location-specific victims fund in the immediate aftermath of a mass casualty crime on GoFundMe to ensure there is a secure place where the public can donate to ensure that 100% will go directly to victims. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations to any of our victims' funds are also tax-deductible. 

  • Furthermore, we work to educate communities and advocate for victims and survivors of mass casualty crime at the most horrific – and most vulnerable – times of their lives.

  • We hope our organization and the information on this website will help all others who are unfortunately and tragically faced with a mass casualty crime.

RapidFirst Response In-person or remote support in the aftermath of a mass casualty crime.

Where We've Helped

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Mission, Vision, and Values

The mission of VictimsFirst is to empower and safeguard victims of mass violence by providing swift and comprehensive support. This is achieved through rapid response, direct financial assistance, community preparedness education, compassionate care, and advocacy for policies that benefit all victims and survivors. By undertaking these initiatives, we aim to cultivate a society that is more empathetic, resilient, and informed, prioritizing the rights and well-being of victims in the aftermath of atrocities.

Vision: 

 

VictimsFirst responds immediately to mass casualty crimes by engaging directly with families of the deceased and those wounded both physically and mentally, while also helping the affected community understand the needs of victims/survivors. We work with local, state, and federal governments, care providers, businesses, and the public to ensure that victims/survivors receive the services, comfort, and financial support they need while protecting them from being re-victimized.

 

This includes but is not limited to:

 

  • Working with government officials to ensure a rapid and well-organized response to a mass casualty crime by making sure communities implement the Best Practices/National Guidelines Protocol For Mass Casualty Crime so that surviving victims are not re-victimized.

  • Organizing outreach to local businesses and community organizations, national corporations, and the public to collect funds and ensure 100% goes directly to victims to help pay for expenses in the aftermath of the crime.

  • Watching over funds to make sure that all donations collected in the victims’ names go directly to the victim base. This may include initiating and managing fundraising endeavors to ensure 100% of all money donated to help victims goes directly to victims. 

  • Interacting with the media to guide them in adapting a No Notoriety policy for the sake of public safety, as well as employ ethical, humane, and trauma-informed reporting practices that respect victims and their families. 

  • Working with media, politicians, and community leaders to adapt the proper language when speaking to and about victims of crime.

  • Helping to initiate immediate, financial assistance to victims/survivors of mass casualty crime. 

  • Connecting victims/survivors with the proper services and agencies they need (i.e. Office of Victims’ Assistance for burial expenses) through referral. 

  • Creating and managing social media campaigns of support to victims/survivors of mass casualty crime.

  • Partnering with other organizations to end online harassment and conspiracy theories against victims/survivors.

  • Working continually with local, state, and federal governments to advocate for victims' rights (i.e. reinstating Son of Sam laws to killers cannot profit from their crimes, advocating so the deceased have rights, and protecting families so that coroner reports and crime scene photos do not become public).  

  • Educating companies, communities, municipalities, states, and organizations to ensure they are prepared for a mass casualty crime and are able to respond ethically, humanely, and effectively—always putting victims first. 

  • Helping to find ongoing support for victims/survivors of mass casualty crime. 

  • Partnering with like-minded organizations.

 

 

Values:

 

  • Advocating – Advocate for victims/survivors during the worst and most vulnerable time of their lives when they need help having their voices heard. This includes working both as advocates for victims, but also with government officials to implement the Best Practices/National Guidelines Protocol For Mass Casualty Crime. 

  • Teaching – Provide first-hand knowledge from past experiences to community leaders and elected officials on how to effectively respond to mass casualty events without re-victimizing families of the deceased and survivors as well as provide compassionate care to victims by implementing our Best Practices/National Guidelines Protocol For Mass Casualty Crime.

  • Helping Hands – Provide help with no expectation, without taking advantage of victims/survivors when they are most vulnerable.

  • Building Bridges – Work with others for a common goal: to make sure that victims/survivors receive the help they need directly and without being re-victimized.

  • Collaborating – Collaborate, when necessary, with other non-profits that can provide direct care for victims.

  • Providing Compassion – Have compassion and empathy when working with and for the victims/survivors. 

  • Prioritizing Ethics – We will perform our duties ethically.

We Endorse

These are some of the non-profits, campaigns, and causes we endorse.

Give An Hour

This is a national non-profit that gives free and confidential mental health counseling to those in need. A large network of mental health professionals are available in many states. (For immediate help: Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255). Give An Hour: https://giveanhour.org/get-help/

Mass Violence Survivors Fund

The Mass Violence Survivors Fund ensures 100% -- every penny donated -- is distributed directly to the established victim base without restrictions to use as victims deem necessary. The MVSF exists solely to distribute tax-deductible donations to victims of mass tragedy. The Fund activates when a mass tragedy happens, collects donations, distributes those funds directly to the victims, and then closes down -- until the next mass tragedy occurs. The Fund helps cover mid-term needs.

Families of the deceased and survivors from 9/11, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University, Aurora (CO), Oak Creek Sikh Temple, Newtown, Tucson, Isla Vista (Santa Barbara), Roseburg, OR (Umpqua Community College), Alturas (CA), San Bernardino, Orlando (Pulse), Vegas, Buffalo (NY), Uvalde (TX), Colorado Springs (CO), and Lewiston (ME) – stand behind Jeff Dion and the Mass Violence Survivors Fund.

NoNotoriety Campaign

For the sake of public safety and as to not re-victimize those already suffering after a mass casualty crime, we endorse the NoNotoriety policy, which calls for responsible media coverage when reporting on those who commit acts of mass violence. Begun by Caren and Tom Teves, whose son Alex was murdered along with 11 others and an unborn baby in the Aurora Theater shooting, the effort is non-partisan and was established to help curtail copycat mass shooting crimes by asking the media to limit the name and photos of shooters and terrorists; instead concentrating media coverage on the victims and heroes. It is endorsed by several branches of law enforcement as well as religious leaders, the Society of Professional Journalists in Florida (where the Pulse Club massacre took place) and by over 70 families from the previous 18 years of mass shootings. To read more about it: www.nonotoriety.com

 

Honr Network

Founded by Lenny Pozner, whose son Noah was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Honr Network battles online abusers and conspiracy theorists who harass and threaten families of mass casualty crimes. www.honr.com

 

Christina Grimmie Foundation

Founded by Bud, Tina, and Marcus Grimmie -- the family of The Voice singer Christina Grimmie who was murdered while signing autographs after a performance in Orlando -- the non-partisan foundation directly helps victims of gun violence, as well as supporting families facing a breast cancer diagnosis. The foundation helps those suffering directly. www.christinagrimmiefoundation

 

Live-Evermore

Founded by Joyal Mulheron, a Washington, D.C. public policy, non-partisan expert with more than 15 years of service with the nation’s governors, she also experienced the death of a daughter only to find few resources to help her. The organization is dedicated to “making the world a more livable place for bereaved families.” It helps the grief-stricken find resources and advocates on behalf of the bereaved. VictimsFirst has been assisting this non-profit in one of its mission points: to make sure that families of the deceased from mass casualty crime receive extended paid bereavement leave from employers. https://live-evermore.org/

VTV Care

A non-profit whose mission is to help fund the long-term physical and psychological trauma-related care expenses of mass shooting survivors nationwide. https://www.vtvcare.org/

Project Hope Baskets

Begun by Aurora Theater shooting survivors Katie and Caleb Medley, Project Hope Baskets deliver gift baskets of hope and notes of encouragement to first responders, city and county officials and victims and survivors of mass casualty crimes: https://www.facebook.com/projectHOPEbaskets/

 

National Heroes Day

On July 20 and throughout the year, National Heroes Day is a non-partisan way to honor those extraordinary individuals throughout our 50 states who are role models for others: whose selfless acts have saved lives, who fight bravely against impossible odds and who light the path for others by setting a shining example. www.nationalheroesday.com

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