How a person copes with crime will depend very much on whether it was a property or personal offence, the extent and seriousness of any injury and the support they have around them.

Coping with crime is about experiencing an abnormal and unexpected event or a violent crime.  You may find it difficult to continue with the normal daily functions of your life.  Those close to you – adults and children – may also be affected by the impact of the crime.  This can leave everyone around you feeling stressed and concerned.

The physical and emotional reactions you are experiencing are commonly felt by people recovering from stressful events and, by allowing yourself to feel, if not at ease then at least aware of this, this understanding can help you through these times and slowly you will develop ways of coping more and more effectively with your life again.

Here are some suggestions that other people have found useful in similar situations:

  • Find a peaceful place and relax.
  • Contact people close to you and tell them what you need.
  • Maintain as normal a schedule as possible.
  • Find time to exercise (like a walk in the park) – this can reduce the physical reactions.
  • Eat well-balanced and regular meals (even if you don’t feel like it).
  • Don’t make dramatic life changes (although sometimes you may be forced to).
  • Make daily decisions so that you regain the feeling of having control over your life.
  • Recognise that some days will be worse than others.
  • Beware of overuse of drugs and alcohol – this will only further complicate matters.
  • Talk with your doctor if you feel the need for prescription medication.
  • Talk about your feelings and thoughts.
  • If feelings and reactions become unbearable or too intense seek help from a counsellor or other professional support person or a community support group.
  • Some find solace from a community elder, a religious leader or spiritual adviser.
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