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Crime can affect people in many different ways. Many people are surprised how emotional they feel after being a victim of crime. These strong emotions can make you feel even more unsettled and confused. People around you such as friends, partners and children will also be affected. They may feel similar emotions to yours, as well as concern for you. But many people find that others around them expect them to 'get over it.' This is not always helpful if what you really want to do is talk about how you feel.
How you react to a crime will also depend on:
The effects can last for a long time. Even if other people do not think of the crime as very serious, you may still find you have a severe reaction. For example, a burglary can affect someone's life just as badly as an assault, even though nobody may have been physically hurt during the burglary.
Most victims of crime do not suffer any long-term harm. But some people do develop long-term problems, such as depression or anxiety-related illnesses. And a few experience a severe, long-lasting reaction after a crime known as post traumatic stress disorder. This is a medical term used to describe a pattern of symptoms found in a person who has experienced a traumatic event. However you've been affected, we can provide information and support to help you cope with your feelings.
One of the things that can make crime hard to cope with is knowing that it was committed deliberately. Unlike an accident or illness, where there is normally no harm intended, people who commit a crime have done it with intention to cause harm. If you are the victim, this can make you feel very powerless and vulnerable. This can be especially difficult to deal with if the crime is repeated or ongoing which is often the case with domestic violence or racial harassment.
It is not unusual to have strong reactions after being a victim of crime. You may find it helps to talk to us or you can find out more about how we can help with some specific crimes.
© Victim Support
Page printed: 16 October 2019
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