How To Offer Support to the Victim of a Crime

How To Offer Support to the Victim of a Crime

So, someone you care about has recently been the victim of a crime. What do you do? What do you say to make them feel better? There are no concrete answers to the previous questions, but there are ways to remain compassionate and offer the support they need during such a trying time. If your loved one has fallen victim to a crime, try utilizing the following tips when providing emotional support.

Listen Carefully

After experiencing crime firsthand, it is normal for individuals to not know how to communicate how they feel. They may not have the emotional vocabulary to convey feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and confusion. If this is the case with your loved one, you will need to act primarily as a listener and give them the space they need to express their emotions.

Avoid using language that blames the victim such as “I told you so” or “If you had only listened to me.” Such language and accusations can make a bad situation even worse. You should also avoid forcing anyone to talk before they are ready. This can backfire and cause the person to shut down completely.

Offer General Help

After experiencing a crime, your loved one may need additional help, so there is nothing wrong with offering it. You don’t need to be a mental health professional to do this, simply state that you will be there if your loved one needs anything. Don’t assume, and remember, let your loved one tell you what he or she needs. During this time, it is best to be a good listener and have an open mind.
Part of the help you provide may involve performing basic tasks. It is normal for victims of crime to have some difficulty readapting to normal life after their ordeal, so you may find yourself performing tasks such as cleaning, cooking, or running errands. Make it known that the person you care about doesn’t have to worry about returning any favors during this time.

Encourage Your Loved One To Seek Professional Help

You are not a therapist, psychiatrist, or counselor. You should remember this when interacting with any victim of crime. You more than likely do not possess the skills and education of a professional mental health expert, but there may come a time when your loved one needs the help of a professional. There is nothing wrong with this; mental health professionals help millions of people every day. The help they provide can be essential to crime victims as well.

Be compassionate if your loved one doesn’t like the appeal of seeing a mental health professional at first. This is normal, but over time, the stigma usually wears off. Help your loved one understand that seeing a professional can help with reclaiming his or her life and personal power. This may make the prospect more appealing.

Hire Someone Who Will Fight

People who become victims of crime need someone in their corner. They need someone willing to fight for them both inside the courtroom and out. If you know anyone who experienced a crime firsthand, don’t hesitate to tell them to reach out to Michael L. Fell today. Call 949-585-9055 or visit the website.