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Asking for help

If you suspect that you are the victim of a crime, you should seek help. Being the victim of a crime can feel like a sudden shock, but you may also not particularly feel one way or the other. If something does not feel right, you should seek help right away. Talking about the incident can make you feel better and can help prevent other crimes.

It is normal to react strongly to an unusual event. As the victim of a crime, you may have all kinds of reactions, such as:

  • Feelings of guilt, shame, fear and uncertainty
  • Feeling jumpy or on edge
  • Feeling a need to withdraw, to avoid other people
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty remembering important details of the event
  • Irritation, anger or hostility
  • Despair, restlessness, feelings of intense sorrow
  • Weakened feelings or numbness
  • Loss of interest in things that normally feel interesting
  • Feelings of unreality or being adrift
  • Distressing images, memories and thoughts about the event that keep coming back
  • Difficulty sleeping, nightmares, feelings of reliving the event
  • Physical reactions such as headaches, stomach aches, loss of appetite and so forth
  • Difficulty thinking about the future
  • Wanting to avoid thoughts, feelings, discussion, places or activities related to the event

It is normal to have a reaction of some kind after becoming the victim of a crime. Sometimes, the distress is not visible to others, and family and friends have difficulty understanding your behaviour. You should therefore seek help as soon as possible after the incident by telling about it a trusted adult, even if it feels difficult to talk about the experience. Discussing the event can help you come to grips with the experience. Family and friends and other forms of support will help you deal with the incident.

Where can you ask for help?

  • A reliable adult (close one, nurse, teacher, school councellor, youth worker)
  • Police and web police
  • Child welfare
  • Mediation
  • Victim Support Finland