Becoming a victim of crime can be a very traumatic experience and it can have a different impact on everyone. There is no “right way” of feeling and the effects can last for a long time. For those impacted by crime, it is important to remember your feelings are justified and should not be questioned by what the crime was or how you perceive others to be coping. Sometimes the smallest of events can trigger a significant emotional response, and that is completely normal.
After you experience a crime you may find that:
You feel upset, angry, unable to sleep, anxious, frustrated and many more emotions. Some people are surprised at just how emotional they feel after a crime. It may be the crime has triggered previous trauma that they have experienced. Because of this, these strong emotions can make someone feel even more unsettled and confused.
Even if you are not physically harmed during an incident, you may show physical symptoms. The shock and stress of becoming a victim of crime can cause physical symptoms, such as feeling sick or losing weight, and feeling ill.
After a crime has happened, victims often blame themselves thinking how they should have done things differently. Many people think about the events that led up to the incident and wonder whether they should have done things differently. This can lead to a feeling of guilt and a reluctance to seek support and talk about how they have been left feeling. It is important to remember, it is not your fault.
A way that we can check in with ourselves to help us recognise if we need support, what this might look like and from who would be to ask the following restorative questions to ourselves:
- How has the crime affected the way I feel about life/people/normal activities?
- How have my routines been affected?
- What would help me to feel better?
- Can I do this on my own or do I need support?
If you have been impacted by a crime and feel you are struggling to cope, our services are here to help. We can signpost you to support services such as mental health professionals and counselling services to help you cope with what you are experiencing.