It is often difficult for family and friends to understand the impact a criminal act can have on a victim.
At this time, it is important that victims are supported by people they know and trust.
Even if they have not been physically injured or directly threatened during a criminal act, some people can have strong reactions to what may seem a relatively minor event.
Victims are often overwhelmed by strong emotions, leaving them feeling vulnerable and out of control. Their anger and fear may be misdirected at loved ones and friends at times.
It is important that you don't expect too much of them, as this may hinder their recovery and add to the pressure they are already feeling. Your friend or family member will need to heal in their own way and in their own time.
People’s reactions vary - some reactions to traumatic situations may include:
Some people will manage their reactions within a couple of days, while others may take weeks or months before they regain control of their lives.
Watch for any strong reactions. If any of the reactions listed above last for longer than a few days, encourage the victim to contact the Victim Support Service for assistance.
As a support person, you can discuss your concerns about a family member or friend with a Victim Support Service counsellor.
Some ways to provide support to a friend or family member who has been a victim of crime are to:
You may also have your own reactions. It may be important that you find someone to talk to as well.
In addition to supporting victims of crime, the Victim Support Service is also available to family and friends. Freecall 1800 818 988 or contact us at our nearest office for help.
Last updated: 18-Feb-2013
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