Most victims’ families from last year’s massacre at Virginia Tech agreed have agreed to a legal settlement proposed by the state, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said in a statement reported by USA Today, the Washington Post, and others. Surviving victims and families of the dead will receive a settlement valued at more than $11 million total in cash, health benefits, and other assistance, attorneys Peter Grenier and Douglas Fierberg said. The “seriously injured victims will be well compensated and have their health care needs taken care of forever,” the attorneys said.
USA Today reported on work by victims’ families on violence prevention and other issues. Channeling pain into causes can help families process their loss, says Robert Rosenbaum of Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Oakland, who studies post-traumatic stress. Research shows people feel better if they give meaning to a loved one’s death, he says. “Probably the most common thing is they want to make sure their son or daughter’s death was not in vain. They want that life to have some meaning,” says S. Daniel Carter of Security on Campus, a school-safety advocacy group. The causes can temporarily distract survivors from overwhelming grief, says Nancy Ruhe of the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, a network of support groups based in Cincinnati. “I think it’s our own defense mechanisms that make us turn toward something to help other people,” Ruhe says.