Being the victim of a crime can trigger a number of physical and behavioural reactions.
You may experience a combination of thoughts and emotions that are difficult to deal with sometimes. Even though these reactions are completely normal, you may feel that you cannot cope and that you are losing control, which can be quite frightening. It is important to remember that in most cases these feelings will fade and that, over time, you will gradually regain a feeling of control over your life.
It is possible that you will identify with many or none of the reactions described here.
What is important to understand is that there is no pre-established way for how you may feel or react.
When we are victims of a crime, it can affect us in many different ways.
We all have our own strategies for coping with difficulties in our lives. Usually, these strategies work quite well and help us in many different circumstances. However, as a victim of crime, we are faced with a situation in which we react differently and the strategies that we normally employ may not be enough.
Often we feel that our personal integrity has been violated and we are in a state of shock. In addition, we may experience problems such as difficulty in sleeping, depression, anxiety and guilt. We may feel guilt even though we know that we are not to blame for what happened. It is this very situation of not recognising or understanding our own reactions that is quite uncomfortable for most people.
What is in fact a completely normal reaction to an abnormal situation makes us feel as if we have lost all control and the world may appear to be a very dangerous place.