The Impact of Murder on the Family Unit


The Impact of Murder on the Family Unit


One of the most devastating things to happen to a family is the murder of one of its members. Unfortunately, it happens much more often than you might think. In fact, according to the FBI, there were 4,265 murders in the United States in 2009. That’s an average of one murder every 22 minutes. Of those victims, more than half were killed in their homes. Of the remaining individuals who were murdered, 43% were murdered in a public area. The remaining 13% were murdered in other locations.

Serious mental health problems

Statistics show that one in five people who experience domestic violence suffer from mental health conditions, which can make it even more challenging for the victim. Additionally, people who have a family member who is a victim of domestic violence are more likely to experience mental health conditions. Domestic violence can have a devastating impact on the entire family unit.

Feelings of fear and anxiety

After a murder, the family unit is left to deal with the grief of the loss. While some family members may express grief in a healthy manner, others may struggle with feelings of anger, denial, or depression. The way that the family deals with the crime can have an impact on how the surviving family members cope with their grief.

Increased financial strain

Speaking of murder, the murder of a spouse and/or a child can be devastating. In some cases, murder can lead to domestic violence and divorce. If the murderer is not arrested, the family’s finances can suffer as a result. The family might be forced to file a claim for their losses, like their home, car, or other valuables.

Loss of support

An immediate and lasting impact on the family unit is the loss of the life partner and the way they lived. All of the roles that the person played in the relationship and the family are suddenly and suddenly ended. Often, the grieving process is more complicated for the children who are left to deal with the reality that they will never see their parent again. Their grief can be complicated by the fact that they are also dealing with the grief of the death of a parent.

Increased stress

Murder is a traumatic event that affects an entire family. It’s hard to know how each individual family member will respond to the tragedy. Some may be able to quickly move on, while others may struggle for years. The stress that murder causes to the entire family can be devastating.

Difficulty coping

It is not uncommon for loved ones to struggle with grief after a murder. Whether the victim was a parent, spouse, or child, the loss of trust, the fear of being alone, and the struggle to move on without them can be incredibly challenging. Being the primary caretaker of the surviving children can also make it more challenging for the family members to move forward.

Increased likelihood of divorce

When a spouse murders the other, the family unit is affected in a variety of ways. In most cases, the surviving spouse is left to grieve their loss on their own and to deal with the feelings that come with it. Because they are most often the primary caretaker for the children, they may struggle with the thought of being a single parent, and the fear of something happening to them may sometimes cause them to be overly protective of their children. While the murder of a spouse can sometimes lead to feelings of anger, bitterness, and resentment towards the other parent, the surviving partner often feels relief that the other spouse is no longer around to cause them any more harm.


The murder of a member of your family can have an extremely detrimental effect on the entire family unit. Even if the murder is not intentional, the murderer may have acted with little or no thought for the consequences. However, the psychological trauma the family endures extends far beyond the loss of a loved one. It can also impact the entire family in ways that extend for years. The grief and anger that the family must deal with are almost insurmountable, especially for the surviving spouse. It is extremely important for the entire family to have support, especially from one another. Professional grief counseling can help the family learn coping strategies that work for them and to better understand the murder and its effects.

Related Links

Canadian Parents of Murdered Children (CPOMC)
The Impact of Murder on the Family Unit

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