Reactions of Crime Victims

Being the victim of a crime often has a number of negative after-effects.

The after-effects may be financial losses, physical injuries, psychological reactions and problems, or social consequences. These after-effects often bring about many practical problems. How badly or to what extent a person reacts is an individual matter, depending on several things. The criminal deed itself, your relation to the offender, your social situation, and your personality are some of the factors that influence your reactions.

It is important to remember that you as a crime victim are never to blame for what has happened. Feelings of guilt and shame are still very common, even though it is the offender who is responsible for what has taken place. Other common reactions are anger and hatred towards the offender and a desire for revenge. It is important to express these feelings, for instance by talking to someone. Keep in mind, also, that many of the reactions following from a crime will pass over in time. Most victims recover from their experience and are able to go back to having a normal life.

Even though it may be difficult to talk about your experiences as a crime victim, it is often beneficial to do so. It might make it easier for you to come to grips with what has happened to you if you are able to talk to someone you can trust. If you are in need of such help and support, you may contact the Social Services in your municipality or one of the non-profit organizations working with crime victims, such as a victim support centre or a women’s shelter.

If you would like a more interactive presentation of the reactions of crime victims, you may visit the Court Introduction website and click on “The consequences of being subjected to crime” in the menu.

Last Updated: 2012-09-07

Court Introduction

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Information to victims, witnesses and others on court proceedings