New eLesson on victims of terrorism available in LEEd

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New eLessons on victims of terrorism available in LEEd
10 June 2022

The EU Agency for Law Enforcement Training has released a new eLesson on victims of terrorism, a comprehensive digital training and learning resource designed to address emerging and current training needs of law enforcement officials.

The eLessons are compact and easy-to-follow, covering current topics presented engagingly with a focus on practical applicability. Users learn individually, at their own pace, and in an explorative way. Trainers can embed eLessons in their formal training – be it as a requirement in national curricula or as a pre-course activity for a CEPOL training. Students will obtain certificates and badges upon successful completion of the corresponding online tests. The job-aids embedded in eLessons ensure that the learners will more easily transfer the knowledge and skills learned into their every-day practice.

All LEEd users can enrol to eLessons free of charge, without nomination by a CEPOL National Unit.

Victims of terrorism

A terrorist attack can have considerable psychological and psychosocial impacts on the individuals who are the targets or who witness it, and also on society in general. Typically, most victims are civilians, but first responders can also be victims, as they perform their duties at the scene of an attack.

The impacts of a terrorist attack on a victim vary considerably with the type of attack, the specific experiences and personalities of the victims, and over the course of time during and after the attack. The victims’ recovery is strongly influenced by the response to the attack by governments, organisations (like emergency services) and individuals (including law-enforcement officers), and by how the victims are supported afterwards.

The overall aim of this eLesson is to help law-enforcement officers who are active in counter-terrorism to deal in appropriate ways with victims of terrorism. Its target group is law-enforcement officials working in the field of counter-terrorism and police psychologists.

The eLesson consists of a brief introduction, five topic chapters, and a glossary of terms and abbreviations. Users can also check their levels of understanding for each topic by considering a selection of quiz questions.

The five topic chapters are:

  • Features of terrorism: Every terrorist attack is unique and therefore the impacts and reactions can vary. This topic covers the different characteristics of terrorist attacks and the different responses they require.
  • Psychological and psychosocial impacts of terrorism: A society’s response to a large-scale horrific incident like a terrorist attack can be modelled as a cycle consisting of four phases: impact, honeymoon, disillusionment and reconstruction. Awareness of these phases can help the authorities to understand how victims’ needs may vary over time.
  • Primary and secondary victims, and primary and secondary victimisation: This topic looks first at the conventional distinction between primary and secondary victims of terrorist attacks, and then at the two general ways (primary and secondary) that they can be affected by these attacks.
  • Needs and rights of victims of terrorism: This topic describes the various needs that victims commonly have in the wake of a terrorist attack. It also covers the EU legal framework that sets out their rights as victims of terrorism, such as through the Victims’ Rights Directive.
  • Role of law-enforcement officers: This topic looks at the roles and tasks of law-enforcement officers regarding victims during the three phases of response to a terrorist attack: emergency, intermediate and long-term.

Study time: 60 minutes

ENROL on CEPOL's eLearning platform LEEd.

Other eLessons availalbe in LEEd:

Other eLessons currently under development:

  • Eight eLessons in the framework of illicit drugs laboratories
  • Carousel fraud
  • Behaviour analysis in migrant smuggling
  • Radicalisation, extremism and prevention of terrorism



Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032