Your home and family life in general may have changed a lot, and you have the right to have a say on what is best for your wellbeing, including where you live and with whom.
The changes in your family and home can be positive, but you’re also allowed to miss and grieve the loss of the life you had before the homicide.
In your family, you may find that your thoughts, feelings and actions are very different from those of your grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles. This is because everyone experiences trauma, grief and loss in different ways, and families usually need some time to recover and adjust.
In some cases, it may take a long time before you build the life that you want and surround yourself with people who love and support you:
Contact with the perpetrator
‘Perpetrator’ means the person who committed a murder. Children and young people often have very complex feelings towards their parent who is the perpetrator. You have the right to decide to be or not to be in touch with your parent who is the perpetrator, and to change your mind.
Some children and young people choose not to have the perpetrator in their lives:
Other children and young people prefer to stay in touch with their parent who is the perpetrator. This can be for different reasons, like keeping them in their lives, asking them questions about what happened or letting them know that they don’t want to be in touch anymore. There are different ways of doing this that can help you feel safe, and you don’t necessarily have to meet in person:
Relationships with the perpetrator's side of the family
You have the right to decide if you want to stay in touch with the family of your parent who committed the homicide.
In some cases, children and young people move in with relatives on their father’s side of the family or visit them regularly.
It is possible for you to have positive relationships with both sides of your family. However, you may feel pressured from some people to think or feel a certain way or to stay in contact with your parent who is the perpetrator. It is also possible that there are conflicts between the people in the different sides of your family. This can be very distressing, but it is not your fault.
Next section: Healing and Empowering Yourself
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