News & Articles


It is news to no one that there has been an increase in homicides in Boston within the past two months. As we at the Peace Institute grieve over the lives lost to violence, we also want to announce an important development in our efforts to serve the needs of families who survive the homicide of a loved one. Boston Medical Center will become the first hospital to use the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide, a tool created by the Peace Institute that illuminates a clear path for families after a murder, a time of crisis and chaos.

We support the efforts of Mayor Walsh and others to address the sources of violence and work to bring peace to our communities.  At the same time, the Peace Institute is working with other first responders, like the BMC Care Management Social Work Team, to meet the needs of families of homicide victims.  For 20 years, we have often been one of the first places family members are referred to after a homicide.  It was our experience of working with families who were faced with having to plan for end of life arrangements in the midst of profound grief and trauma that led us to develop the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide.   This tool can be used in conjunction with other information sources to ensure that families do not have to navigate this experience alone.

The Survivors Burial and Resource Guide is a critical resource for front-line workers who come in contact with survivors of homicide victims. Hospitals play an important role in the team that comes together to help a family make final preparations, funeral plans and so much more.

The Peace Institute hopes its partnership with BMC will be the first of many hospital partnerships to use the Survivors Burial and Resource Guide.  We would like to see all families receive consistent, coordinated and compassionate services in the aftermath of homicide. The Survivors Burial and Resource Guide will benefit other first responders, schools of social work, law enforcement officers, and staff at the coroner's office. As this tool is used more widely, first responders will be better able to address the needs of families, thus lessening the secondary trauma families sometimes face in interactions with professionals.  The Guide is a tool that empowers survivors of homicide victims to transform pain and anger into power and action.