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What to Do if You Have Been a Victim of Crime

If you have been a victim of crime, you may feel angry, confused, ashamed, etc. Having these feelings is completely normal, while some victims even blame themselves for what happened. However, it is never the victim’s fault no matter what happened. Despite that it may not be easy to go to the police and report the crime. This, however, is exactly what you should do.

Victims of crime often hesitate to go to the police due to feeling of shame or fear that the person who has hurt them will revenge if they report him/her to the police. There is no need, however, to feel ashamed for anything, while the fear will not go away as long as the person who has hurt you is walking around free. On the contrary, if the person is not persecuted for the crime, he or she may feel that it is possible to get away with crime unpunished and may repeat it or hurt someone else.

If you have been a victim of crime, you should report it to the police as soon as possible in order to allow the police officers to gather as much incriminating evidence as possible. The longer you wait, the lesser the likelihood for the police to find enough evidence for persecution on the court. Unfortunately, it is not enough to report the crime to the police for a person to be sentenced to prison or financial compensation. Police investigation, however, is crucial for the trial which is often a very painful process because the defence always tries to prove that the accused has not done anything wrong. But if you tell the truth and report the crime early, the police will be able to gather enough incriminating evidence not only for a trial but for the conviction as well. And before the case gets to trial, the persecutor will prepare you for the court and try to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Being a victim of crime may be difficult to deal with. It often leaves deep psychological scars, while many victims develop the so-called posttraumatic stress disorder characterised by flashbacks of the traumatic event, disturbing dreams about the event, overwhelming shame or guilt, anxiety and some other symptoms involving memory, emotions and mood. It usually gets better over time, especially if the victim gets help, comfort and support from family and friends, and sometimes a short-term psychological counselling or therapy. Although it is often difficult to think and talk about what happened, talking about it typically accelerates the recovery process as well as reduces the risk of a long-term posttraumatic stress disorder which can seriously interfere with daily life, activities and relationship with other people. If you have been a victim of crime, you are therefore recommended to not to refuse support from your loved ones and if necessary, medical treatment.