Support group offers community, fellowship to those affected by homicide
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry support group hosted a picnic Saturday for people whose lives have been impacted by homicide.
The Survivors of Homicide Support group at MUSC held a picnic in West Ashley for people to enjoy food, games and fellowship. The gathering was an opportunity for members of the support group to spend time together outside of the sessions.
The support group is a place for family and survivors to support each other in a safe and confidential setting. The groups are meant to help each survivor gain a better understanding of loss and grief, and to help promote change and growth in their lives.
People who work with the program say it’s an extremely tough topic, but the events can lead to lifelong friendships and pockets of joy.
Megan Wallace is a Clinical Instructor at MUSC who has been working with the program for 12 years. She says it’s a unique experience.
“Family members who have experienced a loss by homicide - it can feel really isolating. It’s a different type of loss than most folks experience. And so, this group and programs like this are really important because it brings survivors together and allows us to form a connection with them, and people who understand what they’re going through,” Wallace explains.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office says they are working to have events like this across the county, in a variety of towns to get to connected with more people. Karen Bing is the Victim Witness Coordinator at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
“Having events like this, as well as the other events that we do throw throughout the year. It’s very important because it allows the survivors to be around those who understand what the trauma looks like on a day-to-day basis,” Bing says.
As a survivor herself, Bing says the group is like being in an amazing loving club, that you still never wanted to join. She acknowledges that it can be hard to communicate with a survivor, no matter where there are in their healing timeline.
“You don’t know what to say. I would say the best thing that I could tell someone that they want to spend time with survivor is just listen. A lot of times they just want someone to hear that because their days are dark and shiny at the same time,” Bing says.
Click here to learn more about the support group.
If you would like to connect with the Survivors of Homicide Support Group, call 843-792-8209 or email email@example.com
Click here to view MUSC’s Survivors of Homicide Guidebook
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