This Accidental Casualty Survivor’s group was started in 2016, initially as a private/closed Facebook support group and then this website. It was started by the survivor of an accidental casualty accident 4 years after her accident of 2012. A year after starting the group she was interviewed by Alice Gregory for and featured in a story in the New Yorker for her brilliant and thoughtful piece: The Sorrow & Shame of the Accidental Killer. The founder of this site is the “Patricia” in the aforementioned article.
When the article came out it encouraged many accident casualty survivors to come out of the woodwork and in all finding one another, the group grew and the many who felt they were alone in this suffering found one another, all with different backgrounds and circumstances, but all suffering the same emotions, pains, trials, and tribulations.
Being that there is a shortage to a complete absence of resources for persons involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death and to provide a way for these suffering people to come together, share stories with one another, advice, suggestions, and offer direct support to each other.
I would highly recommend first visiting the website created by social psychologist, Maryann Gray, titled Accidental Impacts (www.accidentalimpacts.org). It is the original and most complete source of information for Accidental Killers. Maryann Gray, herself made a CADI as a young college student, has been an advocate for CADIs and their symptomatology for many years. Her site is an inspiration for this site being a haven for CADIs to privately and safely discuss their situations with one another as well as various modalities to healing such as EMDR, CBT, etc.
Most survivors are broken, lost, and desperate for community. This site is a place to create awareness, provide hope and encouragement, and most of all to be a voice and safe haven for survivors of serious accidents, as well as their loved ones. Our private Facebook group is a place for “CADIs” to safely interact. You will find connections here to our closed Facebook group, access of which is only available to ID and accident-verified CADIs. To receive entry into the closed/private group you must fill out this form or email: email@example.com
We are not affiliated with any religious group or religion, period. The views and writings you come across here and on our private Facebook site are those of our members, only. We have people from every belief and walk of life. Our only agenda is a sense of community, non-judgement, and support for ALL.
If you are a CADI visiting our site,… You are not alone! We all unfortunately once felt alone, and we found out that there are many, many people who share unique survival experiences. There are, unfortunately, more victims involved in the accident than the deceased or injured. With each accident a ripple of people, including first responders, the families of all parties, all drivers, and bystanders have their lives changed in an instant. They are left traumatized, damaged mentally and many times physically, heartbroken, and forced to live with a multitude of effects from said accident.
This site is a place of hope. We are not doctors or counselors, but we speak from a place of experience. (I do also have very carefully selected, trauma-specific therapists within our private Facebook group and conduct live Q&A and info sessions with these counselors and CADIs, provide videos, info, etc.) I have found a good deal of our healing has come from simply knowing that we are not alone in our pain. We are committed to help you along on your healing journey, as we ourselves heal. This will be a part of you for a lifetime, but it is not hopeless. We believe you can find peace despite this tragic situation. Do not go this alone! We will even help you with finding qualified professionals in your area.
If you are the loved one of a CADI visiting our site,… No one sets out to be involved in a serious accident causing the injury or death of another person, much less to support someone who is going through this pain. This unique situation has been handed to CADIs and to those who care for them, alike. There is very little research within the psychiatric community pertaining specifically to the trauma related to car accidents or accidental shootings or the like, particularly those involving a fatality. Our trauma is unique in that it is a mix of wrestling with guilt/feelings of responsibility, shock, survivor’s guilt, anxiety, potential legal trouble, (in worst cases PTSD, suicidal ideation), and additionally, grief. It is most difficult handling or understanding a CADI who goes through the stages of grief, even when the victim was a stranger. As a loved one to a CADI, things to look for are: overlooking care and/or activities of daily living, suicidal ideation (feelings that they should die or lack of will to live), loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, hypervigilance, and other mood changes. One of the most effective things you can do is,… listen to them. You don’t have to have all the answers or make it sink in with them that it was just an accident and unintentional, but listen. Encourage them to talk about it, and listen. Please work with your loved one to find professional help and support. Please contact us if you need help with same.
If you are visiting our site and are the family member or friend of someone accidentally injured or deceased….
OPEN LETTER TO A GRIEVING FAMILY:
We are beyond tremendously sorry for your loss. Please know we care about you and the effects of the tragedy that befell your loved one. You and your pain are part of the reason that we grieve and struggle. There are no words that can undo the unimaginable. Please know that we are forever changed. We will carry an accident that resulted in fatality with us for the remainder of our lives, as will our families. We all grieve your loss and this tragedy. We all grieve in different ways. We often wish we could help with the “whys” and the unknowns. Please know that we want those answers, too. We hope, and many pray, for forgiveness,… that someday you will find it in your hearts to see that we would never want you or your loved one to be intentionally caused pain. We wish beyond all wishes we could do anything to alleviate the hurt you feel. Your pain and loss cause us the majority of our mental anguish and physical disrepair. We hope that someday all will realize these types of accidents can happen to anyone, any day, and thousands do on a daily basis. There are so many near misses and fender benders that could have gone another way. We hope you come to find peace, understanding, and forgiveness in any minuscule way. We want this for you on your healing journey, as well as for ourselves. As CADIs, forgiving ourselves will be a lot longer and more painful a task than most could assume. Many CADIs do not make it and have been lost to suicide from their guilt, pain, and grief. We hope that all remember that any day, any time we leave our houses, that this could happen to any of us. And that we can come together in love to heal. This is our dream. Again, we only know a fragment of your loss. We respect you and your grief. May you find peace on your journey.
Accidental Casualty Founder, “Patricia”
To create awareness within the public as to the challenges a CADI faces in the wake of an accident.
To provide a place of support through discussion, shared experiences, and provide a comprehensive list of resources locally, nationally, and worldwide.
Advocate for CADIs to the public, including police departments and victims’ services.
Welcome to all those who are hurting, and loved ones of those who are hurting, and offer you a safe environment to hopefully help you to heal.
Common difficulties many survivors encounter:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Difficulties with Self Esteem
Self Care and/or Eating Issues
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Health Ailments Brought on by Stress & Pressures