Effects on a Crime Victim

It is often said that crime doesn’t pay. What must be realized is that besides not paying, it also leaves behind a terrible hangover that can last a lifetime.

Crime victims suffer physical or financial problems after becoming a victim. The victimization doesn’t stop when the actual crime is over. There are a number of after effects that crime victims suffer after the actual crime has been committed. A crime victim can suffer from an incident that is verbal or non physical in nature and still be considered as if they were physically attacked. The mind sometimes does not know the difference between physical violence and psychological violence. Crime victims may suffer from stress and anxiety over a long period of time. This is more likely to happen to victims of serious crimes. Many crime victims suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, which can trigger anxiety attacks, flashbacks, and often result in the crime victim having difficulty living a normal life. The suffering from being a crime victim can continue throughout the judicial process long after the crime. Many times the victim is interviewed by the police and questioned by others, family, friends, etc., in a perceived negative manner, suggesting that the victim somehow caused or did something to increase their chances of becoming a victim of crime. This kind of blaming the victim is very prevalent when it comes to rape victims. Many times people will assume the woman did something that caused her attacker to rape her.

 Crime victims may also suffer undue financial hardships due to a lost in wages when they have to appear in court, or simply too shocked to return to a normal existence. They may relieve the incident over and over. It is important that if you are aware of a crime victim, be it family, friend or neighbor that you give them plenty of patience when dealing with them. It is also important that you spend time with them so they regain a secure feeling. Let them know that you care and your there for them. They need to regain control of their life and we can assist in that process. We recently had an elderly couple who suffered a serious incident when three masked men entered their home without permission. They were not seriously hurt however I know, that the psychological pain caused by their ordeal will last for a very long time.

Shortly after the incident we were able to send a crisis intervention team, made up of our own police officers to help comfort the victim couple and assist in relieving their fears. It is a new program implemented by the chief and his command staff. Last week it was worth its weight in gold.  We sometimes get complacent and say “this could never happen to me”. Crime can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anyplace. So it is important that we increase our awareness around us at all times. I have often said and will continue to say that if you see something or experience something unusual CALL THE POLICE. Anything that is unusual should be reported. A police officer and a police department is there to respond on request. Never feel that you would be bothering us by not calling. That is what they are paid to do. Today there are many unusual things that are happening and now more than ever we must band together, police and citizens alike to resist and prevent any one of us from becoming a victim of crime.