How Crime Can Affect You

Becoming a victim of crime can be a very traumatic experience and it affects everyone slightly differently. There is no “right way” of feeling and the effects can last for a long time. It’s important to remember that the perceived “seriousness” of a crime does not necessarily correlate with the impact it has on an individual. Sometimes the smallest of events can trigger a significant emotional response, and that is completely normal.

After you experience a crime you may find that:

You feel angry, upset or experience other strong emotions

Some people are surprised at just how emotional they feel after a crime. These strong emotions can make you feel even more unsettled and confused. A lot of people feel angry, upset or afraid after experiencing crime, but people will react in different ways.

You show physical symptoms

Even if you are not physicaly harmed during an incident, the shock and stress of becoming a victim of crime can cause physical symptoms, such as feeling sick or feeling ill.

You blame yourself thinking you should have done things differently

Many victims of crime think about the events that led up to the incident and wonder whether they could have done something different. This can cause feelings of guilt and a reluctance to report the incident or seek support. It’s important to remember it’s not your fault.


You develop long-term problems such as depression or anxiety-related illness

While the short-term effects of crime can be severe, most people don’t suffer any long-term harm. Occasionally, people do develop long-term problems, such as depression or anxiety-related illnesses, and a few people have a severe, long-lasting reaction after a crime, known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Getting support

If you’ve been affected by crime and are finding it difficult to cope, you can talk to us. We’re here to help, regardless of when the crime happened and whether or not you have formally reported it.