Support Programs

Violent Loss / Grief Support Group

We are happy to announce that the Violent Loss/Grief Support Group is back!

We are a once a month "drop in" support group that is focused on a violent loss; homicide, suicide, DUI, sudden death.

Due to subject matter, this Violent Loss Support group is for adults only.

We will be meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of every month beginning on Tueday, February 21, 2017.

The meetings will be from from 6:30 pm - 8/8:30 pm at:

The Center for Mindful Relationships

2333 First Avenue, Suite 204

San Diego, CA 32101

Suggested Donation:  $5.00

Michelle Iliff, MFTII 
(619) 246-8560

Dayna Herroz, Peer Advocate
(619) 251-1950 or (619) 955-6084

Murder Survivor's Handbook


Murder Survivor's Handbook helps family members adapt to and navigate the aftermath of murder.

When a loved one is murdered, the survivors-the co-victims-are plunged into a head-spinning world of traumatic grief, criminal investigation, criminal justice, and the long-term consequences of violent loss. Sensational news coverage may compound the trauma of their loss.

Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources helps these survivors wend their way on this overwhelming journey they never chose to take.

Written by Connie Saindon, MA, MFT, the book will be formally released on Sept. 25, 2014, to coincide with the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

The book will be available in print and ebook formats.

Saindon's professional as well as personal experience have given her a unique perspective that few others have. Not only did she learn first-hand about criminal death following the murder of her sister, she learned that she is a Survivor in every sense of the word. However, she also found that little was known about the impact of murder on survivors.

Murder Survivor's Handbook: Real-Life Stories, Tips & Resources fills that void for the survivors, the co-victims of murder. It provides information, resources, and strategies for learning to live with the aftermath of a homicide, including safety issues, dealing with the criminal justice system, addressing the news media, and coping with traumatic grief, while preserving the memory of a loved one.

Also in the book, Survivor Writers describe their own experiences and, through their tips and suggestions, lend a helping hand to those who follow in their footsteps.

The Foreword to the book is written by Edward Rynearson, MD, Medical Director, Separation and Loss Services Program, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, WA, and the author of Retelling Violent Death.


  • Nonfiction: Death, Grief: Bereavement
  • Publisher: Wigeon Publishing
  • Publication date: September 25, 2014
  • Size, print edition: 8.5 x 11
  • Pages: 244


  • paperback; ISBN: 978-0-9896913 0-7;$19.95
  • e-book: Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc.; $7.99


Praise for the book

This book is wonderful. You covered all the steps 1hat victims have to deal with. The chapters are broken down and very easy to read and follow. The resource section after each topic is great. Thank you, this is a one-of-a-kind book much needed! 

-Rose Madsen, Families & Friends of Murder Victims, Inc.


This is exactly the book I would have loved to have had in the beginning so I wouldn't have made so many mistakes with Homicide, and that I would have had some idea how this entire process works. Soon others will not have to try to figure out the craziness of it all; it will be right there in their handbook. 

-Dayna Herroz, Survivor/Co-victim/Peer Advocate/Violent Loss



About the Author

Connie Saindon is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and among the few specialists in the field of violent death bereavement. She is the founder of the nonprofit Survivors of Violent Loss Program in San Diego, which began at the University of California-San Diego outpatient clinic in 1998. Her commitment to violent loss bereavement is related to the loss of her sister, aged 17, to homicide in 1961.

She is author of The Journey: Ten Steps to Learning to Live with Violent Death (2008), an adaption of the Restorative Retelling Model for adult self-help and paraprofessionals. She also is a contributing author of Violent Death, Resilience and Intervention Beyond the Crises (2006).

When not pursuing her professional interests she may be found kayaking in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans, skiing, walking her dog, or taking photographs. A native New Englander, Saindon splits her time between Boothbay, ME, and San Diego, CA.


For additional information: Connie Saindon
(858) 699-7700


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