How crime can affect you

Did you know that crime, however small, can have a long lasting effect? Learn how crime can affect you.

How crime can affect you
Crime or offense can cause you shame, guilt and pain / Photo: JohnHain, PIXABAY

Unlike an accident that happens unexpectedly, people who commit crime are deliberate. They intentionally plan to steal a valuable belonging that you have spent lots of money, effort and time to acquire.

Unfortunately, an offense or crime, however petty it may be, may end up causing physical harm or even death. As a result, different people react and respond differently to crime or offense. This means that everyone can be affected in different ways.

However, knowing that someone deliberately plans a crime can make it hard for you to cope. It doesn’t matter how petty or serious a crime is, the effects can last a long time. Some people get over major incidents very easily while others can be distressed by petty crimes.

How crime can affect you

coping with crime or offense
Children are more likely not to share about an offense /Photo: jarmoluk, PIXABAY

These are the things that may happen when someone commits a crime against you.

1. Incurring costs and financial inconvenience

As a victim of crime you may incur direct costs in terms of replacing property lost such as company phone or laptop. This may lead to financial inconvenience that may upset your monthly budget and financial plans.

2. Feelings of guilt and blame

You may feel guilty and think you should have done things differently. If you were robed on your way to or from work, you think you wonder what may have happened if you had done things differently.

This being so, you continue blaming yourself. You believe it is your fault that you became a victim of crime. This may prevent you from seeking help that can liberate you from victimization and continued trauma. The best way to cope is knowing that you are not to blame.

3. Loss of self-control

Things suddenly fall apart for you and you stop being in control. There are times you feel okay and normal. This only lasts for a little while before things suddenly fall apart. This becomes a pattern that you operate in as you gradually fall apart.

4. Feelings of anger

Thinking about what happened can unsettle and confuse you especially when things constantly fall apart. You feel angry, upset and confused. As you continue flashing back to the offense, your anger, fear and guilt may lead to depression.

5. Feelings of victimization

Acute feelings of anxiety and victimization may lead to a loss of trust in people and the community at large. You may stop from going to places and doing things you enjoy.

Places you may avoid includes your place of work or the location where the crime occurred out of fear of repeat victimization.

Factors that may affect your response

  • Familiarity with the offender

It may be difficult to cope with the offense if you are in constant contact with the offender

  • The kind of support you receive (or fail to receive)

It may be difficult to cope with crime or an offense when those around you expect you to ‘move on.’ This may prevent you from pouring out your heart because no one close to you is ready to actively give you listening ear.

Your family members, friends or colleagues from work may also be affected and make it difficult for you to cope or recover. It may also be difficult to cope if the police aren’t helping or when family members don’t believe that a person well known to all of you offended you.

  • Past experience

It may be difficult to cope if a crime or offense has been committed against you in the past. Repeat offense may make you feel like there is something wrong you have done that may be attracting crime and offense.

This is especially so when you’re a victim of domestic violence, are difficult to deal with since you may feel helpless.

Getting help and support

effects of crime
Pouring out can help you cope with crime or offense / Photo: TréVoy Kelly, PIXABAY

If you have been a victim of a crime and need help, you can talk to us. We can offer help or connect you to the right person or support group. There is no telling how crime can affect you.

While some effects may be short term, others may be difficult to deal with. The loss of material things such as a laptop, phone, watch or other valuables can be short.

On the other hand, physical harm or death of a loved one as a result of crime, can take months or even many years to overcome. This is particularly the case for victims of physical assault, robbery with violence, rape and murder.

When you become a victim of offense, however small, you should share with your closest friends, family members and work colleagues. Do not keep feel embarrassed or keep quiet.

Seeking help may help you cope better and prevent you from becoming a victim.

Report the offense at the nearest police station and take caution. Follow this link if you’re a victim of domestic violence. Monitor and change your habits such as coming back home late, carrying valuables openly or leaving your door open when you are at home.

“In my community, mental health isn’t taken seriously enough. Therapy is replaced by prayer. Tears are a sign of weakness. When you are different, you are told to change. And really, what does that do? It isolates desperate, vulnerable people and creates victims.”

― Frida R., Blossom’s Wine Bar

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