Health issues for victims
Most people find it helpful to talk about their feelings after a crime
Crime can have an huge impact on your physical and mental wellbeing. Everyone's reaction will be personal to them, but typically people feel strong emotions - especially soon after the crime. This can include feelings such as anger, fear and distress - but other people may just feel numb. Physical effects can also vary from person to person but can include things such as crying, shaking, difficulty sleeping or even more serious health problems.
Most people will get back to normal with time, and the right kinds of help and support can speed this process along. But some people will suffer much longer lasting effects, including ongoing health issues.
We've been helping people to cope wth the effects of crime for 35 years and we know that a lot of people find it helpful to talk to someone. Offloading your feelings in a safe, confidential environment can help you to cope with your feelings. It can help you make sense of what you've been through. Our volunteers are specially trained to listen and support you. And unlike with friends or family, you don't have to worry about about putting a burden on them.
Some people use the term counselling when they talk about the work we do, but it's not a word we use. Instead we talk about giving emotional support - and most people find it helps them recover. However, some people do need full counseling or other types of psychological help after a crime. We can help to arrange it if you think this is something you need.
If you need other kinds of medical treatment after a crime we can also help you in dealing with the health service.
If you have been injured through a crime, you may be entitled to criminal injuries compensation. While it won't help your injuries to heal, it may help you make adjustments to your life while you recover. We can explain how to make a claim and can help you with the paperwork.
Post traumatic stress disorder
Most people who experience a traumatic and stressful event, such as a crime, will feel emotional about it. These feelings are usually very strong, but they normally go away as time goes by. However you've been affected, we can give you information and support to help you cope. We can also give you practical help, for example with your home security, as sometimes people find it hard to move on emotionally when they have day-to-day reminders in front of them of what they've been through.
A few people may find that their symptoms do not improve, and perhaps get worse as time goes by. They may go on to develop post traumatic stress disorder. This is a medical term used to describe a pattern of symptoms found in a person who has been traumatised. The symptoms are different for everyone but may include nightmares and flashbacks, sleeping problems, depression, and other physical and mental problems.
Many people affected by post traumatic stress disorder find it helpful to talk to a medical expert, such as their GP, who might be able to arrange some specialist counselling or help. However, there can be a waiting list for counselling so you may find it helpful to contact us for help and support in the meantime.
How to contact us
To find out more, or to see how we can help you, contact one of our local offices. Alternatively you can email or call the Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 for support and information.