Suggested Reading

Victim Support Services Self-Published Books

Rebuilding Your Life After Homicide

Victim Support Services, formerly Families and Friends of Missing Persons and Violent Crime Victims originally published this booklet in 1983 under a different title called "Grief by Homicide". The new title of this book, “Rebuilding your Life after Homicide” has been chosen because it reflects the experience that surviving victims of homicide undergo after the unthinkable happens. Survivors report that they literally had to pick up the pieces of the old, and find a new way to carry on. Rebuilding a new normal and a new way of living. Life as they knew it was different after the violent loss of their loved one. The most important message of this book is to convey that you are not alone. Many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, steps, grandparents, and close friends have walked a similar path before you. Losing a loved one to homicide is a very misunderstood form of grief, no one is prepared for such a sudden and violent act. We are sorry that you are going through this. This book was written with you, your loved one, and your family in mind. Everyone’s story is unique. There is no blue print available to get you through this. There is no right way to grieve or recover. This book has been developed as a guide of what you might expect along the way. This journey will not be easy. It will take everything that you have to make it through it, there will be really difficult moments, as well as positive ones. You are not alone, agencies like Victim Support Services are across the United States to help guide you through this process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to someone if you need help.
To purchase your own copy of Rebuilding Your Life After Homicide, we have two options:

  1. Purchase for $10 from Amazon by clicking here. The book is eligible for Prime 2-day shipping.
  2. Purchase for $7 directly through Victim Support Services by completing the form below at the bottom of this page. Please note it may take up to 3 weeks for shipping.

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The Assault Survivor's Handbook

Currently we are in the process of updating this book.  We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.  If you would like to be notified when the book is ready to purchase, please email [email protected]


More Suggested Reading

What to Do When the Police Leave

Author - Bill Jenkins
Written by a victim for other victims and their caregivers, this book offers authoritative and invaluable advice, guidance, and resources for families dealing with the traumatic loss of a family member or friend. There are sections on crime scene cleanup, unsolved cases, grief in the workplace, a chapter entitled "Long-Term Grief: Living The Marathon," and a Foreword by best-selling author Patricia Cornwell. Finalist in the category of Best First Book in the Publishers Marketing Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards 2000, "What To Do When The Police Leave" is being used by victim assistance programs, clergy, funeral homes, and police departments across North America as they work with and serve the bereaved. It is recognized as one of the most valuable resources available for grieving families. This one of a kind resource is heart-to-heart practical advice from one who has been through the trenches of grief and loss, encouraging and helping others in their own paths. The victims' voice has never spoken so clearly.

No Time for Goodbyes

Author -  Janice Harris Lord
This book gives hope and practical suggestions to survivors grieving the tragic death of a loved one. Tears will come to your eyes as you read the comments of survivors throughout the book, but many of the tears will honor their insight and courage as they travel their paths toward healing.

And I Don’t Want to Live this Life 

Deborah Spungen
For most of us, it was just another horrible headline. But for Deborah Spungen, the mother of Nancy, who was stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel, it was both a relief and a tragedy. Here is the incredible story of an infant who never stopped screaming, a toddler who attacked people, a teenager addicted to drugs, violence, and easy sex, a daughter completely out of control—who almost destroyed her parents' marriage and the happiness of the rest of her family.

The Forgiveness Myth: How to Heal Your Hurts, Move on and Be Happy Again When You Can't or Won't Forgive

Author - Gary Egeberg and Wayne Raiter
If so, you may have accepted the widespread notion that forgiving is the only way to heal. It's simply not true, and believing it can keep happiness out of reach. Leave the myth behind and discover the truth. You can heal without forgiving. You can move on and be happy again. This book shows you how.

Beyond the Bullet: Personal Stories of Gun Violence Aftermath 

Author - Heidi Yewman
How do ordinary people cope after a loved one is killed due to gun violence? It's a question that more than 30,000 families must face every year in America. In this gripping book, survivors, friends, and family members discuss their lives from the moment their worlds were turned upside down by guns. In their own words, they discuss the anguish, fear, confusion, and grief they were plunged into as a result of a pulled trigger. Along the way, author Heidi Yewman finds some common traits and some astonishing illustrations of how grief plays out for different people in tragically similar circumstances.

Life After Trauma: A Workbook for Healing

Dena Rosenbloom and Mary Beth Williams
Trauma can turn a person's world upside down-- afterward, nothing may look safe or familiar. This supportive workbook helps trauma survivors find and use crucial skills for coping, self-understanding, and self-care. Even when the worst has happened, this book shows how it is possible to feel good again. Filled with comforting activities, relaxation techniques, self-evaluation questionnaires, and exercises, the workbook explains how and why trauma can throw you for a loop and what survivors can do now to cope. Chapters guide readers step-by-step toward reclaiming a basic sense of safety, self-worth, and control over their lives, as well as the capacity to trust and be close to others. Readers learn how to protect themselves from overwhelming memories and to heal from trauma-related reactions that may be disturbing their day-to-day lives. Written by experts in treating trauma and based on extensive research, the workbook can be used on its own or in conjunction with psychotherapy.

A Guide to Understanding Guilt During Bereavement

Author – Bob Baugher
Do you feel guilty over the death of your loved one? This 53-page book will not tell you NOT to feel guilty. However, it does include explanations of 14 types of guilt (e.g., Death-Causation Guilt, Role Guilt, Moral Guilt) and takes the reader through 23 suggestions for coping with guilt (e.g., self-talk, compiling memories, role-taking, performing a ritual).

Understanding Anger During Bereavement

Author – Bob Baugher, Carol Hankins and Gary Hankins
Coping with the death of a loved one is difficult. Anger is a natural reaction to being deprived of something desired. If you are coping with anger or know someone who is, this book is for you. Topics include: Causes, Positives and Negatives of Anger, Pre-existing Emotional Styles, Targets and Intentions of Anger, and Suggestions for Coping with Anger.

After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Grief

Author – Bob Baugher and Jack Jordan
If you have experienced the death of a loved one from suicide, this book is for you. With contributions of many people who have been through the experience and two Psychologists who have helped hundreds of people bereaved by suicide, this book takes the reader through the first few days, weeks, months and years.

Coping With Traumatic Death: Homicide 

Author – Bob Baugher and Lew Cox
If you have experienced the death of a loved one from homicide, this book is for you. By including the experience of Lew Cox as he coped with the murder of his daughter, Carmon, this book takes you through the first few days, weeks, months, and years.

A Guide for the Bereaved SurvivorA List of Reactions, Suggestions, and Steps for Coping with Grief

Author – Bob Baugher
If you are experiencing grief from the death of a loved one, this little book is for you. On each even-numbered page is a grief reaction. On each facing page is a list of suggestions for coping with the reaction. The book is divided into Emotional Reactions, Physical Reactions, Reactions of Others, and Reactions that Demand Thinking.

The Journey Workbook: Ten Steps to learning to live with Violent Death

Author - Connie Saindon
“The Journey” is a workbook for individuals and support group facilitators that leads people through a healing process after losing a family member or friend to a violent death. Based on Ms Saindon's work with the Restorative Retelling Model as developed by Dr. Edward Rynearson. The workbook encourages readers to write about their experiences and guides their grieving and healing process. Seven anonymous writers answer the same questions based on their true stories.

Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources

Author - Connie Saindon
Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-Life Stories,Tips & Resourcesfills that void for the Survivors, the co-victims of murder. This book provides information, resources, and strategies for learning to live with the aftermath of a homicide, including safety issues, dealing with the criminal justice system, addressing the news media, and coping with traumatic grief, while preserving the memory of a loved one.
In the book, Survivor Writers describe their own experiences and, through their tips and suggestions, lend a helping hand to those who follow in their footsteps.

Books For Children

Angel Catcher for Kids

Author - Amy Eldon
Angel Catcher for Kids offers a healthy way for a child to cope with the painful and often confusing process of grieving. Designed to help a child overcome the loss of a loved one, this journal also invites the child to record precious memories of the special person who has died. Angel Catcher for Kids will help a child to catch-and hold-an angel.

Sad isn’t Bad: A Good Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing With Loss

Author - Michaelene Mundy
Loaded with positive, life-affirming advice for coping with loss as a child, this guide tells children what they need to know after a loss--that the world is still safe; life is good; and hurting hearts do mend. Written by a school counselor, this book helps comfort children facing of the worst and hardest kind of reality.
The Dougy Center has a variety of excellent books you can order directly from them. Here is a link to their website -