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Get help

You should get help if you feel or suspect that you have fallen victim of a crime. It can be unexpected and shocking to fall victim to a crime. It is also possible that you do not feel anything at all. Everyone reacts individually and all kinds of emotions are normal.

You should get help already when something feels bad or if you cannot get the situation off your mind. You do not have to manage difficult situations on your own.

Remember this:

  • You have the right to get help
  • What happened is not your fault
  • You have nothing to be ashamed of
  • The perpetrator is always responsible for his/her actions
  • The experience can cause different feelings, like shame, fear and guilt
  • All reactions are normal
  • No one must tolerate any kind of harassment or threats
  • It is important not to be left alone with the experience
  • Tell a trusted adult about what happened
  • Do not hesitate to get help

It is normal to react to abnormal situations. A crime experience can give rise to:

  • Feelings of guilt, shame, fear and insecurity
  • Vigilance, intimidation or anxiety
  • Need to isolation, avoid other people
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Difficulty remembering details about the experience
  • Irritation, anger or hostility
  • Despair, restlessness and severe sadness
  • Numbness or apathy
  • Decreased interest in things that usually are interesting
  • Feeling of unreality and detachment
  • Repeated anxious memories, observations and thoughts about the experience
  • Sleep problems, nightmares, feeling of reliving the experience
  • Physiological reactions such as headache, stomach problems, loss of appetite
  • Difficulty thinking of the future
  • Avoiding thoughts, feelings, discussions, places, actions around the experience
  • Depression and self-destructive thoughts

It is normal to react after a criminal experience. However, it is not always visible on the outside. Therefore it is not always easy for relatives to understand the victim’s behaviour. It is good to get help as soon as possible after the criminal experience and tell a trusted adult, even if it is hard to talk about it. Talking through the experience can help you to learn how to live with the experience. You can cope better with the experience when you get support from family and friends and necessary help is available.

Where can you get help?