Counselling for Victims of Crime
Crimes can cause psychological damage to the victims, as well as their close family members and friends. Because no one ever expects to be a victim, the element of surprise can cause strong reactions in a victim as it inhibits their ability to cope with being a victim. Someone who experiences a crime, especially if the crime is violent in nature, should be encouraged to speak to a trained counselling professional for help working through their feelings surrounding the crime.
Victims of criminal activity frequently report a sense of uncertainty after the even – as if their world has shifted around them and they can’t get back to what was their previous “normal”. The effects of being a victim can affect one’s psyche very strongly, and the effects should not be underestimated. Often the victim can lose the trust of those around them – even with familiar people such as neighbours.
Speaking with a trained counsellor can help the victim to recognize that the responses and emotions that the victim are feeling are part of a very normal reaction to being the victim of a crime. The counsellor will also help beyond the initial shock and emotions – helping the victim to work through the fear, anger, and loss that they may begin to feel as a result.
Many programs exist to help witnesses and victims of crime to cope – but programs also exist to help with the close friends and family to deal with their responses to the victim. Often, someone close to a victim may find themselves to be overwhelmed and vulnerable as well. If you are close to the victim of a crime, don’t hesitate to get help for yourself as well.
Crimes can cause extreme psychological damage to both the victims of the crime, and those close to them. If you or someone you love has been a victim of a crime, do not hesitate to seek help with working through your concerns.